The sub-task forces of the Prime Minister Task Force on Information Technology and Telecom will submit their recommendations including the proposal to bring down the 12.5 percent Advance Income Tax on the Internet to zero as well as declaring IT and Telecom sector as industry next month (March).
Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui in the first meeting of Prime Minister Taskforce on IT and Telecom had formulated with consensus three sub-task forces on IT, Telecom and Human Resource Development. These sub-task forces were directed to submit their recommendations in six weeks time period.
Tax Exemption on Internet to be Proposed Under Digital Transformation Drive
Official sources revealed that all the sub-sectors held several meetings separately and almost finalized their recommendations. These recommendations are likely to be presented to the Prime Minister Taskforce on Information Technology and Telecom next month and after final deliberations, Prime Minister Imran Khan would be given a detailed briefing.
Sources said that along with the proposals and recommendations, PC-1 would also be formulated to ensure its smooth implementations for the early solution of issues and challenges confronted by IT and telecom sector in the country as well as further promotion.
Sources said that different proposals have surfaced for the IT&T sector growth where some are included as given below,
(i) Declare IT and Telecom sector as an industry and to adopt the legal process in this regard soon
(ii) Bring down 12.5 percent Advance Income Tax on the Internet to zero, as it is negatively affecting telecom growth and digitization agenda of the government
(iii) Penetration of fiberization, broadband, mobile phones, and smartphones
(iv) Make IT industry comply with international standard
(iv) Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship in the IT sector
(vi) Set special technology zones in the country for enhancing IT exports
(vii) Existing buildings or infrastructure can be designated as special technology zones
(viii) Spectrum should be allocated in the right manner
(ix) Promote locally manufacturing products like mobile phones, computers, laptops etc
(x) Develop a digital content of all subjects at schools and college levels besides giving IT training to students
(xi) Scholarships for Human Resource Development
The Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT & Telecom, having representation from public and private sector experts, has been notified with the objective to effectively tune up digital and telecom policies through effective sector growth, export focus, and employment generation will be achieved through various focus groups of the task force.
E-Government and Structural Reforms are a part of Digital Transformation Drive which is one of the priority areas for the government for bringing in efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness in Government related transactions. As per the road map, central procurement of e-office infrastructure across ministries and divisions will provide economies of scale in procurement, cost savings and timely execution and adoption across government of Pakistan automated mechanism for receiving feedback and complaints from expatriate Pakistanis to help in the positively engaging diaspora and improve the image of government.