To advance information technology in the budget year 2023–2024, a high-level gathering was held in Islamabad today under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
According to a press statement from the PM Office Media Wing, the prime minister (PM) gave instructions to finalise the budget plans for the growth of the information technology and telecom (IT&T) industry.
The PM gave the go-ahead for the creation of a sizable incentive package for the IT sector in the upcoming fiscal year budget as well as an increase in IT sector income to $4.5 billion in FY24. He pushed for the creation of a new fixed tax regime for the IT industry and instructed the relevant authorities to provide suggestions in this respect as soon as possible.
Concessions for Startups and Businesses
A high-level meeting was conducted today in Islamabad under the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to promote information technology in the fiscal year 2023–2024.
The budget plans for the expansion of the information technology and telecom (IT&T) business were to be finalised, the prime minister (PM) reportedly instructed, according to a news release from the PM Office Media Wing.
The PM gave the go-ahead for the development of a large incentive package for the IT sector in the upcoming fiscal year budget as well as an increase in IT sector revenue to $4.5 billion in FY24. He pushed for the development of a new fixed tax regime for the information technology sector and gave the necessary agencies a deadline for making ideas.
The next budget, according to the prime minister, would include a proposal to award 100,000 laptops based on merit as well as a commitment to invest a sizable sum of money on vocational training for young people.
PM’s Youth Programme Expansion, Tax Incentives
The PM’s Youth Skill Development Programme will be expanded as part of the conference, and new IT training zones will be established. Additionally, to boost the effectiveness of the sector, officials agreed to make it mandatory for IT firms and independent contractors to retain 35% of their export revenues for a period of three years.
According to the PM, the 2019 budget would include tax benefits for IT companies operating in Special Technology Zones. According to him, approving budget suggestions for IT will help the nation establish new employment prospects.
The prime minister gave instructions to officials to plan roadshows of the IT industry overseas and to conduct additional research on the infrastructure needed for this sector’s expansion. Additionally, he gave the go-ahead for the government to take action to equip kids with particular coaching and support for starting new businesses in the IT field.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Syed Aminul Haque, Maryam Aurangzeb, adviser to the prime minister Ahad Cheema, minister of state Aisha Ghaus Pasha, special assistants Tariq Bajwa, Jahanzeb Khan, Tariq Pasha, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, senator Afnanullah, chairman of the federal board of revenue, and other senior officials.
Asif Peer, the CEO of Systems Limited, Hatem Bamatraf, the CEO of PTCL, Jazz Mudassar Hussain, the vice president, and Telenor Kamal Ahmed, the deputy CEO, all attended the meeting.
PM All for Incentives, But What About Splashing Some Extra Cash?
It is important to remember that in May, representatives from Pakistan’s IT & ITeS business met with the prime minister to discuss budgetary suggestions. The government should allocate more than Rs. 13 billion for the IT industry in the Finance Bill, according to the comments made to it by the stakeholders.
The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Projects have a budget request of Rs. 24.25 billion, but the administration wants to reduce spending and has recommended a budget of Rs. 6 billion instead. Additionally, the government rejected the IT Ministry’s request for funding for 12 new programmes and instead provided a pitiful Rs. 10 million for one programme in FY24.