The details of the discussion between Ishaq Dar, the finance minister, and members of the IT industry have been revealed. The representatives of the Pakistan Software Houses Association have requested that Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar reinstate the tax exemption until 2025 and maintain current IT sector regulations. The delegation has also called for the payment of the 5% cash award that was promised by the previous administration.
According to Sources that the team led by the former chairman of PASHA met with Federal Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday and briefed him on the issues facing the IT sector.
In the meeting, the group harshly condemned the FBR and State Bank’s policy. Additionally, the delegation asked the Federal Minister to offer money to regional IT firms for product development and to allow them to operate in the Special Technology Zone.
According to Sources, the delegation informed the federal minister that although the previous administration had announced a tax exemption for the IT industry after it took office, the FBR enacted a 0.25 percent tax under the FTR system, as a result of which the government was able to raise close to $7 million in revenue in just seven months.
The delegation informed the finance minister that as a result of this arrangement, the IT sector’s growth was stagnant and had decreased by $500 million over the previous seven months.
Syed Ahmed, the former chairman of PASHA, claimed that the Federal Minister was informed that the FBR’s policies are causing irreparable harm to the IT sector. The aim for IT exports this year was $3.1 billion by December, but that amount has not been reached. He said that the government might have earned $25 million in payroll and other taxes over the previous seven months if the IT sector’s tax exemption had been maintained
According to Syed Ahmed, Federal Minister Ishaq Dar has approved the demand from businesses for land to be allotted to regional IT firms in Special Technology Zones and has instructed the authorities to develop a plan for doing so. The site will be given to local businesses on a short-term lease, the federal minister promised the business groups.
He continued by saying that the federal minister had agreed to the corporations’ proposal to establish the 35 percent retention policy for IT exports.