Special economic zones to be established for IT industry in Punjab

The IT industry has planned to improve software exports from existing $3.5 billion to $30 billion by establishing special economic zones , providing ease of doing businesses through one-window facilitation cell under Punjab Revenue Authority for resolving complaints, tax break, exemption on imports and reduction in sales tax.

Chairman PITB Dr Umar Saif said in his press talk that after the conclusion of the 5th Round Table Conference bi-annual event on Information Technology held under the auspices of Punjab Information Technology Board’s (PITB) project TechHub Connect here Monday.

He informed a summery has been forward to Punjab Chief Minister to establish a ‘One Window Cell’ on 20 to 30 acres land, this would initially be set up under the Punjab IT policy and in a later phase it would be included under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to bring IT revolution in the province.

He said that soon first special economic zone would be established within the premises of the ITU’s main campus being constructed at Barki Road. It will provide subsidised land to the IT companies for their offices, which would be further extended across Punjab for the growth of IT industry as Arfa Software Technology Park has housed 73 offices of IT industry, he added.

Dr Saif stated that the growth of IT industry was the major objective of the PITB by joining hands with the private sector for automation of government organisations.

“More than 200 companies from all over Pakistan and Organisation of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) Overseas Silicon Valley, while in the first moot only 20 companies turned up and now census of IT industry was being initiated jointly by PITB and Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA) to collect the data of the industry to determine its size and needs for compiling report to extend facilities and incentives in line with the first ever IT policy of Punjab province prepared in consultation with the 40 focus groups and public suggestions received on internet incorporated in the policy draft and finalised by the Punjab Planning and Development department for approval of the cabinet,” he added.

The chairman PITB informed that the roundtable conference resolved to develop mechanism for cyber security by forming Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) for timely intimation and solution in case of security threats and onward transmission to take precautionary measures.

“The PITB shall work with Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) for the materialisation of the agenda,” he added.

The CEO Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Muneer Kamal informed that a counter for private market was being established with no regulations for listing of entrepreneurs, companies and their projects, brokers, banks and DFIs as per existing model being practiced in Turkey.

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