The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) are making it challenging for Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) sector exports to developing in the proper way.
Syed Aminul Haq, the federal minister for information technology and telecommunications, has said that the FBR’s policies and several central bank regulations are impeding the expansion of information technology (IT) exports.
“Startups and freelancers have fought a war with FBR and State Bank,” he said during the Digital Inclusion Week event today.
The IT minister said, “We are fighting with FBR and SBP to increase IT exports. Here the mindset is selling flour, pulses, and rice. It takes me 15 days a month to explain things to the FBR and SBP”.
The current fiscal year’s $5 billion goal for IT exports was set by the IT Ministry in July; however, it is contingent on the resolution of existing difficulties with the FBR and the SBP.
Relevantly, the ministry is concerned about issues including incentives for freelancers and withholding tax.
Aminul Haq also provided an update, reporting that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT) has invested $226 million to increase digital connection in underdeveloped regions of the nation.
The minister emphasized MoITT’s function in advancing national strategies for digital development.
He said that since 2019, IT exports have increased to $2.6 billion and that the government plans to treble IT-related exports by the following year.
The minister further mentioned that connectivity problems are no longer a concern in big cities like Multan and Karachi.
In terms of connectivity expansion, he claimed that there are now 195 million cellular customers, up from 160 million in 2019.
The nation’s gender inequality is currently being addressed in the digital sphere. Girls and women now have access to the internet and other modern technology.
“Our government believes in the digital inclusion of women. We are giving equal opportunities to women in education and training. For what it is worth, we have to protect children from online harassment, and Pakistan is the first nation to introduce a program to protect children from it,” Aminul Haq explained.
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