Information technology companies are shifting from Sindh to other provinces owing to high tax rates in the province. This was revealed by Federal Secretary for Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.
Secretary said that MoITT has submitted proposals to PM Office for resolving issues related to double taxation of IT companies. This initiative will help in removing impediments in domestic IT business growth as well, he added. High Tax Rates are only a problem for a state it terms of economy.
IT Companies in Sindh Shifting to other Provinces Due to High Tax Rates
He said Prime Minister has chaired a high level meeting regarding promotion of growth of IT/Telecom sector and resultantly some decisions/directions are currently being implemented. He said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was directed to increase limit for remittances for Freelancers and the same has been increased to $25000. Further SBP has agreed to facilitate Bank accounts opening for freelancers and ensure all kind of support in this regard.
He further said that a summary to Prime Minister is under process to encourage Pakistani products and to give preference to Pakistani software products by all ministries/divisions which would help in growth of domestic IT business.
Special IT Zones to Promote IT Growth:
Special Technology Zones will be developed in the country to promote IT/ITeS growth. In this regard PSDP proposal of Rs 6.5 billion has been submitted to the Planning Commission by MoITT.
The Standing Committee was also apprised of the details of the allocation and utilization of the Ministry of Information Technology. The Committee was informed that 17.72% of the budget allocated by the Ministry has been used so far this year.
Only 33.51% of the budget allocated for employee expenses was used. Budget should have been spent more but budget was less due to vacant posts. Only 0.76% of the employee’s allowance was spent on retirement. The Committee was briefed on the details of development budget and plans. The committee was informed that there are 29 schemes for promotion of IT, four of which are in the approval phase.
The Standing Committee called for development projects to improve the efficiency of the ministry while expressing strong concerns over budgetary expenditures and the slow pace of work. The Chairperson and Members Committee expressed their concern over the number of errors in the working paper sent by the ministry, saying that it seems that all the briefing copy has been cut and pasted.
The Standing Committee postponed the briefing regarding the development budget till the next meeting.
Promoting Freelancing Through IT:
Siddiqui said that Pakistan is at fourth position in freelancing in the world and hopefully it will acquire number three in this regard.
Government is endeavoring to promote freelancing through IT and in this regard National Freelance Training Program costing Rs 367.2 million has been approved in Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) meeting.
He said that Punjab IT Board will work on this program and it will jointly work with universities for arranging trainings for freelancers across the country. Local trainers will be hired for this purpose that will result in promotion of freelancing, he added.
Siddiqui said that National Freelance Training Program is of three years training program and it is first program at national level in Pakistan. He said that more home job and income avenues will be open through freelancing.