Finance Ministry has assured of reducing advance income tax on mobile phone users from 12.5 percent ​​to 10 percent in the upcoming budget for 2021-22, said Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin ul Haque, laid the foundation stone of Information Technology Park Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.

The park would be built with an estimated cost of Rs. 13.70 billion in 28 months. The groundbreaking ceremony of Islamabad IT Park was held here on Wednesday.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Suh Sangpyo was also present at the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, the IT Minister said that it is very important news for the masses that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication will establish a state-of-the-art IT Park at Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.

The IT Park Islamabad will consist of twelve storeys (10 storeys above and 2 storeys underground) self-contained buildings having covered areas of 66,893 square meters.

The IT Park would be developed with state-of-the-art infrastructure and allied facilities for ICT companies with the financial assistance of Exim Bank, Korea, he said. The total cost of the project is Rs. 13,727.07 million.

Haque said that this project for establishing IT Park in Islamabad is linked with the steps for fulfilling the Digital Pakistan Vision, which will mitigate the shortage of infrastructure for the IT sector.

He said that it would also facilitate technology transfer through industry-academia linkage, supporting technology commercialization, linking tertiary education and production, promoting research and development, and enhancing IT exports and industry competitiveness.

Haque said that the Islamabad IT Project is expected to provide over five thousand direct and indirect employment opportunities during the construction phase and about 15000 employment opportunities to IT experts, students, and persons concerning industry after its completion.

He said that a similar type of IT Park will be established in Karachi soon, adding that Islamabad IT Park initially provides office space to around 120 startups and small to medium enterprises and other ancillary facilities like testing laboratories, classrooms, industry-academia linkage center, and an auditorium, etc.

He noted that presently, the total number of software technology parks (STPs) in Pakistan is 15, including three in Islamabad, two in Rawalpindi, eight in Lahore, and one each in Karachi and Gilgit.

He said that we want to establish software technology parks in small and big cities of the country, adding that the Ministry of IT’s attached department Pakistan Software Export Board is working to establish software technology parks in Quetta, Gwadar, Faisalabad, Bannu, Swat, Mardan, Sukkur, and Hyderabad.

He further said that projects worth Rs. 31 billion have been initiated for connecting and providing broadband services in the unserved and underserved areas of the country during the last two and a half years. He further said that the first-ever cabinet meeting in the history of Pakistan was held paperless while Parliament meetings would be held paperless from January 2023.

Further training sessions will also be held for senior parliamentarians on the use of tablets. He further said that 21 million mobile subscribers were added in two and a half years. At present, 181 million people in the country have mobile phones, he added.

Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Suh Sangpyo, said that IT Park constructions are key projects of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).

In 2019, a Framework agreement was signed with Pakistan to provide $500 million of EDCF loans that give financial space for the construction of infrastructure in Pakistan. Today, we witness together, a tangible outcome of EDCF projects, he added.

He said that it is very positive that revolutionary steps are being taken in the IT and Telecommunication sector of Pakistan, and Islamabad IT Park will prove a significant milestone for the Ministry of IT and skilled Pakistani persons.

Secretary IT, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, officers of Ministry of IT & Telecom, MOITT attached department heads, and other officials from the IT industry were also present at the occasion.