Govt Needs to Do More to Facilitate IT Exports: P@SHA Chairman

Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Chairman Muhammad Zohaib Khan has said that the federal government has failed to incorporate the measures to encourage and incentivize IT exports and exports of IT-enabled Services (ITeS) through the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023.

In a statement, Khan highlighted the fact that P@SHA and the Ministry of IT & Telecom (MoITT) reached an agreement with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to implement amendments for the IT & ITeS industry in the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO) 2001, Sales Tax Ordinance (STO) 2001 and Sales Tax Act (STA) 1990 through the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023.

The understanding was reached with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to insert the aforementioned amendments at the earliest possible opportunity in January 2023 in P@SHA’s detailed presentation & consultative session with him, Khan said.

“It is deeply disappointing to see that despite the seriousness shown by the PM and Finance Minister, the amendments are not reflected in the bill. While the industry is making efforts to achieve the export target given by the PM, the same commitment is not reciprocated by the government institutions,” the P@SHA chairman said.

He said that we are not being able to grow IT exports because of a lack of continuity in economic policies, a lack of coherence among government institutions, and due to non-incentivizing of the IT industry.

The statement highlighted that last month FBR started issuing notices to the IT companies regarding super tax, that too with very short deadlines. Similarly, the central bank announced a facility for the IT industry with a timeline of March 31, 2023.

P@SHA has reiterated time and again that the timeline is counterproductive to the spirit and purpose of the facility – and, increasing IT exports of Pakistan through building a conducive digital ecosystem, it added.

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