State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the House that Rs. 21 billion has been spent so far to provide telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas under Universal Service Fund (USF).
Responding to a question during Question Hour in National Assembly, he said that Rs. 50 billion has been collected from the telecom companies under USF and Rs. 21 billion has been spent for the development of telecom infrastructure and for the promotion of services in different under-served areas of the country.
He said that during 2018-19 Rs. 6.4 billion were collected under USF and Rs. 6.94 billion were spent to provide telecom services to remote areas. The government, through the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), is facilitating local companies in the promotion of IT services by marketing, subsidization, etc.
PSEB has arranged four international and four domestic exhibitions so far. State functionaries in consulates and embassies have interacted to accord special focus on the promotion of IT exports.
The government has exempted Information Technology and IT-enabled services from income tax on export until June 2025 to bolster their exports.
He said that IT is emerging as a vital part of the country’s national economy and the government is doing a lot to promote this sector. He said two IT parks are being established in Pakistan with the cooperation of the Korean government.
He said that work on the first IT park in Islamabad has already started while the second IT park will be established in Karachi to further strengthen this sector.