Multinational information technology companies on Wednesday raised major issues with the government they are facing in the country, including taxes and profit repatriation.

A  senior official of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications told Propakistani that a meeting was held between representatives of multinational companies with the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque.

The multinational companies whose representatives met with IT Minister included Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, VMware, Teradata, Huawei, S & P Global Pakistan, Amazon Web Services and SAP Middle East & North Africa.

Matters about information technology, connectivity, IT exports and investment opportunities in IT & Telecom sector Pakistan were discussed during the meeting.

The representatives of multinational companies apprised the Federal Minister for IT about their respective companies’ issues and reservations.

Sources told Propakistani that the companies complained about different slabs of sales tax in different provinces. They further said that they face different issues from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and rules while repatriating their profits. They also complained about the lack of knowledge of FBR officials regarding the IT sector which resulting in complications for them.

They said that Pakistan’s IT sector exports were 46 percent in 2020-21 while it witnessed nominal growth in other countries due to covid. If the government solves their problems, the country’s exports could increase manifold. They also complained about PPRA rules in meeting the government vision of Digital Pakistan.

It was agreed that review meetings with multinational companies will be convened after every three months.

Addressing the meeting, Federal Minister for IT Syed Amin Ul Haque said great opportunities for business and investment are present in Pakistan for multinational companies. Pakistan is situated in the best time zone for IT & software companies’ business. Multinational companies can create employment opportunities for Pakistani youth, he added. He said that the government is giving incentives and tax exemptions to foreign investors.

He also asked multinational companies to point hurdles in the way of the promotion of their businesses besides giving recommendations.

The Federal Minister also urged multinational companies to start the research and development process, adding that it is vital to give state-of-the-art technological training to Pakistani youth. Senior officers of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication were also present on the occasion.

Federal Secretary Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput and MD Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Osman Nasir were also present in the meeting.