Task forces’ body declares IT&T sector as industry
The three sub-task forces of the Prime Minister Taskforce on Information Technology and Telecom has finalized recommendations including the proposal to bring down the 12.5 percent advance income tax on internet to zero as well as declaring IT and Telecom sector as industry.
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.
Official sources revealed that all the sub-sectors held several meetings separately and finalized their recommendations which are likely to be presented to the Prime Minister Taskforce on Information Technology and Telecom in the current 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 their further promotion.
Sources said that different proposals have surfaced for the IT&T sector growth including: (i) declare IT and Telecom sector as industry and to adopt legal process in this regard soon; (ii) bring down 12.5 percent advance income tax on Internet to zero, as it is negatively affecting telecom growth and digitization agenda of the government; (iii) increase penetration of fiberization, broadband, mobile phones and smart phones; (iv) make IT industry compliant with international standards; (v) promote 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) allocate spectrum in right manner; (ix) promote locally manufacturing of products like mobile phones, computers, laptops etc; (x) develop a digital content of all subjects at school and college levels besides giving IT training to students; and (xi) scholarships for human resource development.
The Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT & Telecom, having representation from public and private sector experts was notified with the objective to effectively tune up digital and telecom policies through effective sector growth, export focus and employment generation to 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, official added.
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 govt of Pakistan of automated mechanism for receiving feedback and complaints from expatriate Pakistanis to help in positively engaging the diaspora and improve the image of the govt.