WTO ITA Agreement: Pakistan to Abolish or Reduce IT Import Duties and Taxes

Government of Pakistan is considering to sign the Information Technology Agreement (I.T.A.) which has already been signed by many WTO member countries. This agreement, if signed would have a huge impact specially on the local manufacturing industry of Pakistan, because being the signatory of ITA Pakistan would have to abolish or reduce all the duties and taxes on the import of IT related products; which will be of course a very beneficial initiative for entire industry.

WTO ITA Agreement: Pakistan to Abolish or Reduce IT Import Duties and Taxes

Engineering Development Board solicited proposals from business community specially in the IT and related sector so that can analyze the status of the local manufacturing industry to manufacture these products, so that it can recommend the the Government before signing the ITA. EDB has already asked for Data from the industry to do the analysis to assess the potential of the local industry and how much is it capable to fulfill the local demand so that measures may be taken to protect it from the threat of foreign products.

In view of above, EDB has requested the industry to check the attached list and provide manufacturing data (H.S. Code wise) of the referred products produced by local companies.

It is important to mention here that the budget 2016-17 already extended the tax exemption on IT services and products till June, 2019 as the IT sector of Pakistan is in its infancy stage and requires support. However, IT companies that are availing the tax exemption will have to remit 80% of their revenues to Pakistan through banking channels while they can retain 20% of the revenues outside of country for meeting their expenses. The previously imposed 8% minimum tax on service provider companies remain the same which was previously scheduled to be reduced to 2% by the government.

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