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PM approves incentives for IT sector, freelancers

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Feb 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

In a historic move, the government has approved a number of incentives to facilitate the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITeS) sectors, freelancers and startups.

According to a statement, the approval was given by Prime Minister Imran Khan while chairing a meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier, the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication had proposed tax exemption, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the IT industry. Tax exemption was the biggest demand of the sector, said the statement.

On the occasion, Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque praised PM Khan and Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin for providing unprecedented and unconditional support for the IT and ITeS sector, freelancers and startups.

While congratulating the IT sector on getting tax exemption, Haque elaborated that aggressive growth targets and timely interventions by the leadership had encouraged the stakeholders to tap the desired business potential and compete in the international market.

According to the statement, a longstanding demand of IT companies for easy inflow/ outflow of foreign currency was addressed by the government and it would introduce specialised foreign currency accounts for IT and ITeS companies and freelancers.

It added that such accounts would meet the operational needs of freelancers and the IT industry.

The premier also allowed IT and ITeS companies and freelancers to retain 100% of the remittances received through proper banking channels in the foreign currency accounts without any compulsion to convert them into rupees, it added.

“Furthermore, there will be no restriction on outward remittances from foreign currency accounts for the IT companies and freelancers registered with the Pakistan Software Export Board.”

PM Khan directed the State Bank of Pakistan to introduce financing streams for the IT and ITeS sector and freelancers keeping in view the operational architecture and industry needs.

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