Govt. focus on developing SEZ, STZ to boost country’s IT exports: IT Minister
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 7 (APP): Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque has said that the government was focusing on the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Special Technology Zones (STZ) in order to promote indigenization for reducing country’s overwhelming dependence on imports and boost IT based exports.

The minister’s statement was read by Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui as a chief guest in the inauguration ceremony of Fazal Software Technology Park.

The ceremony was attended by, President ICCI and senior officials from the ministry, ICCI and Pakistan Software Export Board.

This is the second STP inaugurated in Pakistan in less than 3 months.

The Gilgit STP, set up in collaboration with SCO, was inaugurated in Oct last year.

For Special Technology Zones, the Ministry of IT has rolled out strong incentives which include a 10-year exemption from income tax, property tax, other taxes and custom duties, the statement added.

However, a 10-year exemption on dividend income and long-term capital gains from investment along with exemption from GST on goods and services for consumption within the STZ was also extended by the government to fetch maximum investors.

“Pakistanis can rightly be proud of the fact that Pakistani IT companies are providing products and services to the world’s largest companies. State of the art work on latest technologies such as AI, Robotics and Driverless cars is being conducted in Pakistan and large IT companies, including US companies have set up R & D centers in Pakistan”, said Syed Amin Ul Haque.

He said that there was strong demand for STPs in the country due to the booming IT Industry and hence there was also the need to find a faster way to deliver to the IT industry. “That’s how we came up with the idea of putting inoperative private sector industrial facilities to use in the IT sector.”

Syed Amin Ul Haque said that Pakistan’s IT Industry was receiving top priority from the present government, which was working diligently to improve the state of Pakistan’s economy, create jobs and improve overall quality of life.

“As a result, the industry is being provided strong government support and extremely attractive incentives and there are several projects intended to facilitate and assist IT Industry in its growth trajectory and to ensure continued upward momentum in local and export earnings.”

The Fazal Software Technology Park was a great example of public and private sector cooperation with 10 IT companies already having occupied 40,000 square feet of space, he added.

While addressing the ceremony, Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said on the directives from Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque, the implementation work was conducted on fast track basis where the result was evident by this inauguration.

“More good news to come as conversion of unused buildings into state-of-the-art STPs are going to be launched. The construction work is in full swing towards establishing Software Technology Parks in the Universities,” he added.

Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said that IT Industry professionals and entrepreneurs for making Pakistan’s ICT Industry a success story for the Country, having achieved a stellar remittance inflow growth rate and making it the largest net exporter in the services sector from Pakistan.

He stressed the need for close liaison between IT Industry and public sector entities for ensuring holistic growth of Pakistan’s IT sector.

MD PSEB, Osman Nasir said that PSEB registration fee for IT & ITeS companies, including call centers and IT startups, belonging to underserved areas of the country have been completely waived in order to boost growth of IT industry in the under developed parts of the country and thus contribute to organic growth of IT Industry across Pakistan.