Government considers special tech zones, abolishing advance tax on internet
KARACHI: At a time when most of the economic indicators are going downwards, businesses are shrinking and companies across all sectors are downsizing, the Information Technology (IT) sector offers bright prospects. Tech startups in Pakistan are making their mark on the global canvas, for being cost effective primarily. The industry need a little push in the form of consistent policy and infrastructure support. Government is planning to develop special technology zones in the country for enhancing IT exports alongside withdrawing 12.5% advance income tax on internet. Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui chaired 2nd meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan's task force on IT and Telecom on Tuesday, Press Information Department (PID) reported. The sub task force on IT recommended to set up special technology zones in the country for enhancing IT exports. Moreover, specialized technology zones would also improve Pakistan's image in the global IT market. IT related small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could also be facilitated and empowered through establishing special technology zones. The members of the sub task force on telecom observed that the telecom taxes in Pakistan were highest in the world. It was proposed that 12.5% advance income tax on internet must be zeroed. The meeting was told that 1000 union councils in the country had fiber cable connectivity and it was target to connect 3100 more UCs with optic fiber cables for broadband supply. It was also recommended to develop a digital content of all subjects at schools and college levels besides giving IT training to students. Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Maroof Afzal also present in meeting. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman attended meeting as co-chairman of PM Task Force on IT and Telecom. The three sub task forces on IT, Telecom, and Human Resource Development gave recommendations regarding IT, Telecom and HRD sectors.