Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin-Ul-Haque has said that for the enhancement of the Country’s Digital Economy, it is necessary to solve the problems of the IT and Telecom industry and give them maximum relief. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also has a special interest in promoting the IT industry. Federal Minister for IT & Telecom constitutes three committees for IT Export, Personal Data Protection and Telecom Sector growth. The committees will finalize their recommendations in a week time which will be presented to the PM who is the Chairman of the Advisory Council.
Minister Sheds Light on Significance of Providing Relief to IT and Telecom Industry
The preliminary meeting of PM’s Advisory Council on IT and Digital Economy held here in MOITT Office. The meeting was Chaired by Minister IT & Telecom Syed Amin-Ul-Haque while Minister for Finance Muftah Ismail, SAPM on youth Affairs, Shaza Fatima, Senator Afnanullah Khan, Secretary IT Mohsin Mushtaque Chandna, Additional Secretary MOITT Aysha Humaira, Former Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Representative from FBR, State Bank, USF and other members of the council representing IT & Telecom Industry attended the meeting.
In order to enhance the Digital Economic activities in the country, the meeting was discussed CPEC projects related to IT & Telecom, Broadband Services in un-served & under-served areas to provide digital solutions on micro level. Matter related to IT & Telecom Industry and proposals from the stockholders discussed deeply that, how to enhance the digital economy of Pakistan by identifying the key areas of growth, their challenges and way forward to overcome these challenges. On Data Protection Law Member IT Syed Junaid Imam and Member Legal Babar Suhail, while Member Telecom Muhammad Umar Malik, MD PSEB Osman Nasir, Chairman PASHA Badar Khushnood and CEO Jazz Amir Ibrahim briefed Advisory Council about the issues related to IT & Telecom Industry and suggested key points to resolve and boost digital economy.
Council Members suggested that there should not be add any new taxes and/or procedures for IT, Freelancers, E-commerce and Startups to facilitate domestic digital transformation and growth in Exports. Otherwise, peoples will be encouraged to park a significant portion of their earnings abroad which will be a loss to the exchequer. IT and ITeS is the fastest growing and lowest investment option to grow Pakistan’s forex reserves so we have to ensure ease of doing business and policy continuity as much as possible.
The Advisory Council stressed the need for Consistency in government policies to attract local and international investors, saying that industry and investors become uncertain due to the changing situations, which hurts the efforts to promote the Digital Economy. The required support from SBP and FBR is not forthcoming. Agreeing, IT Minister Syed Amin-Ul -Haque said that the purpose to constitute the Advisory Council was to formulate workable proposals to address the issues of IT and Telecom industry, make the Industry more functional in the National Economy and then required directives by the PM can be issued in this regard.
“When all the stakeholders/ institutions are on board and the issues resolved in a timely manner, there is no reason the industry cannot become the backbone of the country’s economy and lead the country out of the economic crisis” IT Minister added.