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Provisions for IT firms at Special Economic Zones will help boost exports, says Dr. Saif

Mechanisms for setting up a Cyber Emergency Response Team also discussed at fifth IT Roundtable Conference
by TR Pakistan

The Punjab government is committed to help the Information Technology industry increase software exports from $3.5 billion to $30 billion, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) chairman Dr. Umar Saif said at a press talk at the conclusion of the fifth IT Roundtable Conference.

To facilitate the IT industry, provisions would be made in special economic zones (SEZs) to be set up across the province, he was quoted as saying in a press statement.

One such facility on the cards was a one-window cell under the Punjab Revenue Authority for resolving complaints related to tax breaks, exemptions on imports, and reduction in sales tax, said the statement.

It said the first SEZ would be established within the premises of the Information Technology University’s main campus on Barki Road. “Land will be provided to IT companies on a subsidized rate to set up their offices.”

Read more: All You Need to Know About the Punjab IT Policy

The statement highlighted that the PITB and the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) were jointly undertaking the first census of IT industry. “Data collection is underway to determine the size of the industry so that reports could accordingly be prepared to improve facilities and give incentives in line with the IT policy of Punjab province,” it added.

The PITB chairman was further quoted as saying that the Roundtable Conference had decided to develop mechanisms for cyber security by setting up a Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT). The team would be responsible for timely action on security threats and coordination with industry players for effective precautionary measures.

“The agenda laid out in the conference will be implemented by the PITB in collaboration with the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT),” the statement concluded.

The latest conference was attended by more than 200 companies, including some owned and operated by Pakistani entrepreneurs but based in Silicon Valley, California.

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