IT Industry Seeks Tax Relief, Policy Consistency After Export Decline

    Pakistan’s IT industry is calling for a decade-long tax relief to boost exports, according to leading IT exporter Noman Said. This request comes after a concerning decline in IT exports for January 2024, as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan.

    Data shows a 12.4 percent drop compared to December 2023, with exports falling to $265 million. Noman Said emphasizes the IT sector’s potential to improve Pakistan’s economic situation. He highlights the industry’s ability to generate exports quickly, unlike other sectors that require longer incubation periods.

    Said acknowledges challenges in the industry but believes a focus on overcoming them is crucial. He emphasizes the importance of achieving a monthly export target of $300 million, which would put Pakistan on track to meet its annual goal of $3.5 billion for the current fiscal year.

    To attract further investment, Said proposes streamlining policies and reducing red tape through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). He outlined key policy interventions sought by the private sector:

    • A ten-year tax relief for the IT industry, regardless of government changes.
    • Consistent and unified policies across government bodies like MoITT, PSEB, SBP, FBR, and SECP.
    • National skills development programs focusing on emerging technologies like AI, game development, FinTech, and blockchain.
    • Increased private sector involvement in policymaking bodies like the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) and provincial IT boards.

    By implementing these measures, the IT industry hopes to overcome recent hurdles and unlock its full potential as a driver of economic growth for Pakistan.

    Also Read: Pakistan Moves Closer to 5G with Comprehensive Working Paper

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