Pakistan Affairs Notes
Information Technology (IT) Sector Development in Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan has provided a reliable IT infrastructure and its package of incentives have been instrumental in the IT industry’s development. As a result, an increasing number of foreign IT companies have chosen Pakistan for their outsourcing operations.
These incentives include:
Provision of low-rent Software Technology Parks (STPs), with fiber-optic connectivity, libraries and conference rooms.
• 100% ownership of equity allowed to investing foreign IT companies.
• Income Tax exemption for IT companies till 2016.
• 100% repatriation of profits allowed to IT companies.
• Seven years’ tax holiday for venture capital funds.
• Minimum rate of 30% depreciation on computer equipment.
• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed banks to open Internet Merchant Accounts.
• Availability of instant, reliable and high-speed connectivity.
• Over 85% of telecommunication infrastructure is on fiber-optic cables.
• Internet access is available in over 2000 cities/towns across Pakistan.
• Reduction in cost of 2 Mbps connection to US$ 500 to 700 per month.
Call centers can avail redundant backup connectivity through Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).
According to recently revealed numbers by the Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan IT exports have increased by 41 percent during the last fiscal year. Revenues generated through IT exports have grown to $2.5 billion during the fiscal year 2014-15.
Pakistan won three Gold Awards and one Silver Award at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) 2015 ceremony held in Colombo on 22nd November 2015.