Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a special incentive package for the IT sector, freelancers, and startups.
Tell me more: As part of its effort to strengthen the IT sector, the government is looking for ways to bring in $50 billion in IT exports in the next few years.
To do so, the Prime Minister launched Pakistan’s E-Tijarat Portal, an e-commerce portal that aims to promote IT trade.
He also approved a historic incentive package to accelerate growth in the information technology sector.
What it includes: According to the press release, the incentive package consists of:
- Tax exemption benefits for the IT sector and registered e-freelancers.
- New special accounts for easy inflow and outflow of foreign currencies.
- IT Companies and freelancers can keep 100% of remittances received through Foreign Currency (FCY) Accounts without converting them into PKR.
- No restriction of outward remittances from FCY accounts for Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) registered IT Companies and freelancers.
- A new funding stream for IT Companies and freelancers
- Establishment of Pakistan Technology Startup Fund to provide seed funding worth Rs. 1 Billion to around 50 startups annually
You should know: Pakistan’s IT exports were $1.3 billion in the current fiscal year, up 36% from last year, according to central bank data.
The government wants this number to grow, so it’s making efforts to help more people by creating incentives to encourage more participation.
It raised the freelance payment limit from $5,000 to $25,000 under its first e-commerce policy.
Between the lines: The zero-tax policy for registered freelancers has been announced to incentivize freelancers to register with the government over fears of money laundering.