IT industry bent to increase software exports to $30bn: VC ITU
LAHORE: The I.T. industry is bent upon to improve software exports from existing US$3.5 billion to US$30 billion by facilitating the industry, establishing dedicated special economic zones, providing ease of doing businesses through one-window facilitation cell under Punjab Revenue Authority for resolving complaints, tax break, exemption on imports and reduction in sales tax.
Dr Umar Saif founding Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University (ITU) and Chairman PITB and Advisor to the CM said this in his press talk after the conclusion of the 5th Round Table Conference, a bi-annual event, on Information Technology held under the auspices of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB)’s project TechHub Connect here Monday.
He said that soon first special economic zone would be established within the premises of the ITU’s main campus being constructed at Barki Road. It would provide subsidized land to the I.T. companies for their offices, which would be further extended across the Punjab province for the growth of I.T. industry as Arfa Software Technology Park has housed 83 offices of I.T. industry, he added.
Dr Saif further stated that the growth of I.T. industry was the major objective of the PITB by joining hands with the private sector for automation of government organizations. It was encouraging to note that more than 200 companies from all over Pakistan and Overseas Silicon Valley turned up, while in the first moot only 20 companies turned up and now census of I.T. industry was being initiated jointly by PITB and Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) to collect the data of the industry to determine its size and needs for compiling report to extend facilities and incentives in line with the first ever I.T. policy of Punjab province prepared in consultation with the 40 focus groups and public suggestions received on internet incorporated in the policy draft and finalized by the Punjab Planning and Development department for approval of the Cabinet, he said
The Chairman PITB informed that the roundtable conference resolved to develop mechanism for cyber security by forming Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) for timely intimation and solution in case of security threats and onward transmission to the industry to take precautionary measures.
Earlier, the CEOs of I.T. companies in large number across Pakistan took active part in the conference and gave suggestions for achieving the agenda. The CEO Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) informed that a counter for private market was being established with no regulations for listing of entrepreneurs, companies and their projects, brokers, banks and DFIs as per existing model being practiced in Turkey. The PITB shall work with Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) for the materialization of the agenda.
The conference provided platform to the leaders from Government, Industry and Academia for a discourse on the issues pertinent to the IT industry of the country and to bring together the entire I.T. fraternity under one roof. This exercise proved helpful in defining the roadmap for the progress of the I.T. industry along with that of the Punjab and Pakistan.