Final Dialogue on New Digital Pakistan Policy Draft Next Month

The Ministry of Information, Technology, and Telecommunication (MoITT) will hold a conclusive dialogue on the New Digital Pakistan Policy next month.

According to sources in MoITT, the draft of the New Digital Pakistan Policy has been prepared, and for the first time, the policy has defined the tasks and the institutions that will carry out these tasks. MoITT has also fixed a timeline to complete these tasks.

According to MoITT officials, the government wants targets to be set under the New Digital Pakistan Policy and incentives to be given to the IT sector. The key areas of work under the new policy are e-Governance, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure, Human Resource Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IT and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) Development, and export.

Insiders revealed that in the next month there will be a conclusive dialogue on the New Digital Pakistan Policy to which other stakeholders, including the Ministry’s institutions, will be invited. The draft will be finalized after incorporating the suggestions that emerge from this dialogue. The New Digital Pakistan Policy will then be sent to the Federal Government for approval.

Sources said that the first Digital Pakistan Policy was prepared in 2017. Since then, many changes have taken place in the digital world. Following the emerging technologies in the world, it is necessary to cover them in the New Digital Pakistan Policy. The ministry had prepared an initial draft of the new Digital Pakistan Policy in February this year, but due to political instability it could not be processed.

In March 2022, then Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a separate package for the IT sector. Imran Khan announced a tax exemption of 100 percent for IT companies and freelancers, a foreign exchange exemption of 100 percent, and a capital gain tax exemption of 100 percent for investments in IT startups. However, the reservations of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) came up, after which the work on this package stopped.