'Proposed GST on software to hit IT growth' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Proposed GST on software to hit IT growth’

LAHORE: Chairman Federal Task Force on Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), Salim Ghauri, has said the proposed 16 per cent general sales tax (GST) on computer software will play havoc with the growth of information technology (IT) sector.

Reacting to the proposal on Friday, he said that any such move would take Pakistan’s IT industry back to square one. Reports have suggested that increased usage and sales of certified computer software worth millions across the country have encouraged tax authorities to tap the revenue potential of the business. Earlier, the government had imposed GST on computer hardware.

Ghauri noted that the IT industry was already in limbo and it could not be burdened further. The policies of the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) have helped the IT industry in the recent past but the global recession has affected it. “Fate of many IT firms is hanging because of sudden drop in sales of their software globally,” he added.

He pointed out that the volume of internally used software was meagre than exports. Furthermore, the slow pace of automation of public sector departments was a hurdle in the fast growth of IT in Pakistan. He said the Federal Task Force on ICT was already assigned the task of suggesting ways and means to enhance IT exports and the task force was finalising its proposals.

Source: The News

Date:6/13/2009