Saturday, January 26, 2019

IT sector businesses demands Tech Zone in Islamabad to promote exports

IT sector businesses demands Tech Zone in Islamabad to promote exports

The entrepreneurs of IT sector have demanded of the government to establish an IT Technology Zone in Islamabad that would go a long way in promoting exports of IT and IT enabled services.

This demand was made in a sector-specific meeting organized by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry to discuss the major issues being faced by the local IT sector. The meeting was co-chaired over by Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President ICCI and Syed Asad Haider, Chairman, ICCI IT & Telecom Committee.

Addressing the meeting, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that with better focus and friendly policies, India’s IT & IT enabled services industry has grown to $167 billion in 2017-18 while its IT exports have increased to $126 billion in 2018. However, Pakistan’s IT industry’s exports have just crossed $1 billion mark in 2017-18, which was not encouraging.

He said that IT industry was the backbone of economy and stressed that government should make conducive policies for IT industry to enable it to drive the economic growth of the country.

Speaking at the occasion, the IT sector entrepreneurs highlighted many issues that needed urgent attention of the government. They said that South Korea had agreed in 2016 to build an IT Park in Chak Shehzad, Islamabad at an area of 45-acre costing over Rs.9 billion but no progress was made on this project so far.

They urged that government should establish a Technology Zone with clustered environment for IT sector in Islamabad that would facilitate in promoting IT exports. They said that Pakistan Software Export Promotion Board (PSEPB) was not playing its due role in promoting soft exports and called upon the government to induct private sector in its management to improve its performance.

They said that government has imposed heavy duties on the import of discrete components of hardware that was a major hurdle in the growth of IT industry and stressed that government should reduce import duties on IT sector. They said under-invoicing was another major issue for IT sector that should be addressed by the government.

They said that tender designs of PPRA rules were discouraging participation of local IT vendors in bids and stressed that government should make rules to support indigenous IT and computer industry. They said that tax regime was unfavorable for IT industry and should be revised to encourage this important industry. (INP)





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