IT Industry

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Umar Saif announced noteworthy achievements in Pakistan’s IT sector, with the caretaker government successfully accomplishing 13 out of 15 targeted goals within a brief five-month period, the advancements emphasize the commitment to boosting growth and innovation in the IT industry. Under the leadership of Dr. Saif, collaboration with the State Bank and the Special Investment Council resulted in a policy allowing IT companies to retain 50% of export revenue in dollars, leading to a remarkable 32% increase in IT exports within the last 60 days.

Revamping the IT Industry and Education

Addressing a longstanding demand, the establishment of the Telecom Tribunal aims to facilitate dispute resolution in the telecom sector, this specialized approach, free from High Court involvement, is expected to enhance efficiency and facilitate rapid progress in the industry. Dr. Saif outlined plans to conduct the first standardized quality test for 75,000 IT graduates, paving the way for job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program. The government is also allocating funds to support special industry courses in universities, aligning education with current industry trends, this move is part of an initiative to overhaul IT education.

Dr. Saif outlined the substantial decisions made in collaboration with key stakeholders such as HEC, the National Computing Accreditation Council, the Examination Testing Council, the Pakistan Software Export Board, and the Pakistan Software Houses Association. Under this initiative, students who successfully pass the quality test will gain access to job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program. Additionally, financial resources will be allocated to support specialized industry-centric courses within universities, to equip students with the skills and knowledge aligned with current industry trends and demands.

Dr. Saif elaborated on the evaluation process, indicating that the National Computing Accreditation Council will assess the pass rates of students, this evaluation will not only determine the university’s rating but will also influence the permissible enrollment of IT students. Highlighting the crucial need to synchronize educational institutions with industry requirements, Dr. Saif emphasized the significance of facilitating industry-specific training programs aiming to narrow the gap between theoretical academic knowledge and the practical skills demanded by the industry, enabling an easier transition for graduates into the professional IT industry.

Facilitating Freelancers and Other Policies

Freelancers will now receive payments through PayPal, addressing a longstanding demand. The minister clarified, “While PayPal itself is not coming to Pakistan, an agreement has been reached where remittances would be channeled through PayPal via a third party.” Moreover, the approval of the nation’s first space policy allows international companies to provide communication services through low-orbit satellites, adopting advancements in satellite communication technology. The commendable growth in IT services, as reported by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, reflects a positive trajectory with an 8.98% increase in IT service earnings during the first six months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s IT sector is expected to continue success, contributing greatly to the nation’s economic sector.

In the period under consideration, there was a notable growth of 10.32 percent in the export of computer services, surging from last year’s US $1,064.579 million to the US $1,174.481 million from July to December 2023-24. Within the domain of computer services, the export of software consultancy services experienced a slight decrease of 180 percent, declining from US $3.394 million to US $3.333 million this year. In contrast, the export of hardware consultancy services showed a robust increase of 3.401 percent, rising from US $391.570 million to US $404.875 million.

Also read: Pakistan’s Freelancers Await Breakthrough as IT Minister Hints at PayPal and Stripe Arrival


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