Boost for IT and Telecom Sectors in 2024-25 Federal Budget

Boost for IT and Telecom Sectors in 2024-25 Federal Budget

Islamabad: In the upcoming federal budget for 2024-25, the government places a strong emphasis on the IT and telecom sector, proposing a significant increase in the development budget by over Rs21 billion.

The suggested allocation for the development budget of the IT and telecom sector is set at Rs27.43 billion, marking a substantial rise from the Rs6 billion allocated in the current fiscal year.

Within this budget, Rs21 billion is designated for ongoing development projects, while Rs6.28 billion is allocated for new initiatives. Key projects include expanding the digital economy with Rs3.5 billion, supported by World Bank funding, and fostering innovation within the IT industry with Rs1 billion, totaling Rs9.95 billion.

Specific allocations comprise Rs50 million for a Rs400 million digitization project for the National Assembly, Rs6.78 billion for establishing an IT park in Karachi, and Rs9.92 billion for a technology park project in Islamabad.

Additionally, Rs1.80 billion is earmarked for the Prime Minister's IT startups project to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation, and Rs1 billion is allocated for enhancing cybersecurity under the Digital Pakistan initiative.

Moreover, recent data reveals a remarkable 62.3% increase in Pakistan's IT exports in April compared to the same period last year. This surge is attributed to policy reforms and business-friendly measures introduced by the Special Investment Facilitation Council.

The stability of the local currency and relaxed retention limits for IT companies by the State Bank of Pakistan are cited as significant contributors to this growth. With over 25,000 IT graduates and freelancers earning from foreign companies, Pakistan's IT sector demonstrates strong potential for further foreign exchange gains.