FPCCI supports the Finance Minister’s efforts to promote IT

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The convener of the FPCCI Standing Committee on IT, known IT exporter and Chief of Viper Group, Khushnood Aftab, has lauded the Federal Finance Minister for emphasizing the development of the IT sector. He said that the Finance Minister’s recognition of the importance of the IT industry and focus on digitising Pakistan’s economy is a very positive sign.

Speaking to the business community, he stated that the Finance Bill 2024 contains several measures that will affect Pakistan’s IT sector that require correction.

Khushnood Aftab said the tax burden has been increased on salaried employees, especially those earning Rs 50,000 or more monthly. Such measures could lead to the migration of talent and skilled professionals to other countries.

He added that individuals will look for opportunities abroad to avoid high taxes, reducing the local IT sector’s capacity for innovation and growth.

He stated that raising the tax on IT hardware from 5 percent to 10 percent will increase the cost of technology in this industry, thereby driving up the production costs of IT companies.

Mr Aftab emphasised that high business costs will hinder local companies’ ability to compete locally and internationally, and the current 18% tax on assembly parts discourages local assembly.

He said this decision would increase dependence on imported assembled products, decreasing local manufacturing and employment opportunities.

He added that despite the budget’s allocation of 79 billion rupees for government projects and IT parks, which is a good thing, these projects need to prioritise the private sector.

He said that while the private sector’s involvement will remain limited, it will also limit innovation and efficiency, adding that private sector involvement is critical to developing a vibrant and competitive IT system.

The government should announce tax relief and incentives for professionals to benefit the country’s best minds and talented youth.

The government will establish IT parks through public-private partnerships, bringing much-needed investment to this promising sector.

He emphasised that by making IT parks more dynamic and growth-friendly, we can compete in the global market by retaining talent.



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