Half of Pakistan’s IT Exports Undocumented due to Unnecessary Restrictions

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was informed on Friday that Pakistan’s IT exports are over $5 billion but exports of just $2.5 billion are documented.

Officials of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication told the parliamentary panel that unnecessary restrictions are discouraging exporters from using formal banking channels and encouraging retention of export earnings abroad.

Member IT Syed Junaid Imam told the committee that due to different laws for bringing dollars into Pakistan and sending dollars outside the country companies like PayPal are reluctant to come to Pakistan.

The parliamentary panel which met with Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali in the chair also expressed serious concerns over the poor quality of telecom services in the country and issues being faced by the e-commerce industry and freelancers.

Parliamentarians said that mobile services are not up to the mark even in the Parliament Lodges. PTA officials said that steps have been taken to improve the services in the lodges, however, the structure of the building is such that it causes problems in mobile services.

Universal Service Fund (USF) CEO Haris Chaudhry informed the committee that 75 mobile towers would be upgraded in Chitral while 15 new towers would also be installed. He said that due to issues in the opening of letters of credit (LCs), a number of projects have been stopped.

The committee recommended the Finance Ministry and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) expedite the opening of LCs for the import of telecom equipment.

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