PM Shehbaz Sharif Directs Mega Incentives for IT Sector in Budget 2023-24

PM Shehbaz Sharif Directs Mega Incentives for IT Sector in Budget 2023-24

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has issued directives to include substantial incentives for Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) sector in the fiscal budget for 2023-24, aiming to bolster the country’s IT exports.

During a high-level meeting focused on promoting the IT sector, Prime Minister Sharif instructed the authorities to prepare a comprehensive package for the sector in the upcoming budget. He also announced plans to introduce a fixed tax regime for the IT industry and established a committee to provide recommendations promptly, according to a press release by the PM Office Media Wing.

Additionally, the meeting granted approval in principle for offering special incentives to new IT start-ups, along with concessions to encourage business and trade through modern technology.

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Emphasizing the significance of youth entrepreneurship, the prime minister approved the creation of special training IT zones to foster entrepreneurship. He highlighted the government’s substantial investment in IT sector training for the youth, noting that currently, 45,000 young individuals across the country are undergoing IT training.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Sharif announced that the government plans to distribute 100,000 laptops among deserving youth based on merit in the upcoming fiscal budget. He reflected on the previous distribution of laptops by the PML-N government, which not only benefited the youth but also contributed to supplementing foreign reserves during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Setting an ambitious target, the prime minister aims to increase the IT sector’s exports to approximately $4.5 billion for the next year.

The high-level meeting saw the attendance of key figures such as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Technology & Telecommunication Syed Ameenul Haque, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, and several other relevant authorities. Renowned IT experts and industry leaders were also present, including Asif Pir, Zohaib Khan, Naseer Akhtar, the CEO of PTCL, the VP of Jazz, and the deputy CEO of Telenor.

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In conclusion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed the importance of incorporating all IT-related recommendations into the upcoming fiscal budget, as their approval would create significant job opportunities for the youth. He further directed the authorities to provide necessary guidance and government assistance to support the establishment of new IT companies. Additionally, he called for organizing IT sector road shows abroad to showcase the facilities offered by Pakistan’s IT sector to the international community.

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