Two IT parks being established in Pakistan, National Assembly told

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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that government has exempted Information Technology and IT-enabled services from income tax on export till June 2025 to bolster their exports.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the house during question hour that the IT is emerging as a vital organ of our national economy and government is paying a great deal of heed to promote this sector.

He said two IT Parks are being established in Pakistan with the cooperation of the Korean government. He said work on the first IT Park in Islamabad has already been started while the second IT Park will be established in Karachi to further strengthen this sector.

Ali Muhammad Khan told the house that two million applications have so far been received under Naya Pakistan Housing project.  He said under this mega project, loans will be given to the poorest segments of the society to build their houses without charging any interest from them as the government will incur this cost.

The Minister of State clarified that BISP is not being renamed. He said the government has started a comprehensive Ehsaas Programme and enhanced its allocations to Rs 190 billion from Rs 100 billion. He said under this initiative several programmes are being launched for the poor segments of the society.

Ali Muhammad Khan said the Information Commission has been made functional and it is addressing the appeals received under Right of Access to Information Act 2017.  He said since its establishment, the information commission has disposed of more than 100 appeals out of 265 received appeals.

READ MORE: Bill Gates desires to invest heavily in Pakistan’s IT sector

Parliamentary Secretary for Education Wajiha Akram said that despite economic constraints, promotion of education including higher education is priority of the government. She said that initiatives such as Kamyab Jawan and Ehsaas Programmes also envisage the component of education.

Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister for National Food Security Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said a plan of action has been prepared in coordination with the stakeholders to save our agriculture sector from the invasion of locusts. He said this plan will be executed in the next one and a half years at a cost of Rs 7.30 billion. Rs 5 billion will be provided by the federal government.

The minister said that aerial sprays have been carried out in Sindh and South Punjab to save the crops from the attack of locusts. He said as a result of emergency measures, Kharif crop has been saved from these swarms.

ALSO READ: 98pc increase in budget allocation to boost IT sector

Responding to another calling attention notice, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the house that the government has enhanced the revenue of Pakistan International Airline to Rs 146 billion whilst reducing its deficit from Rs 29 billion in 2018 to Rs 11 billion in 2019. He said efforts are afoot to bring improvement in the national flag carrier.

Five bills were introduced in the House on Monday. These included;  “The Anti-Terrorism Amendment bill 2020, The Post Office Cash Certificate (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Post Office National Savings Certificate (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The government savings Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The House will now meet again on Monday at 4 pm.

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