PSEB connects IT industry with SBP FBR and SRB

PSEB conducts CEO Forum to connect IT industry with SBP, FBR and SRB

29th September, Karachi. Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) held a CEO forum at ITCN Asia, Karachi Expo Center, which was attended by Mr. Saeed Ahmad, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ms. Nausheen Amjad, Chief Commissioner IR, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Representative of Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), and a large number of executives of IT companies. The goal of the forum was to brief the IT companies on exports reporting, extension in income tax exemption on IT exports till June 2019, and to explain the reporting, taxation and registration requirements of SBP, FBR and SRB. PSEB also wanted to provide an opportunity to IT companies to share recommendations and to discuss issues that they may have in dealing with SBP, FBR and SRB.

The forum started with a presentation by MD PSEB, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, who talked about the IT industry and its exports and PSEB’s plans for 2016-17. He said that PSEB’s goal is to take annual IT remittances to a billion dollars by next year. He requested State Bank of Pakistan to facilitate IT companies with withdrawal of foreign exchange when making payments to their foreign suppliers which sometimes takes too long. He said that by bringing together different stakeholders in the IT industry, PSEB’s goal is to give confidence to the IT companies so that they can remit more of their foreign earnings to Pakistan.

This was followed by presentations by Mr. Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director, SBP, Mr. Syed Shakeel Ahmed, Additional Commissioner, FBR and Ms. Nida Noor, Assistant Commissioner, SRB who talked about procedures and rules for tax exemption and remittance reporting.

Mr. Saeed Ahmad, Deputy Governor, SBP in his address emphasized the importance of collaboration between IT companies to work together on bigger IT projects. He compared the talented IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan to pearls who need facilitation by different government departments to grow their business and exports. He highlighted the importance of exports for the economic growth of Pakistan, and that export of software and IT services can be a vital pillar in accelerating the exports. He also stated that PSEB can play its role by enabling IT companies to work together and to assist them with international promotion and marketing.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session in which the audience asked many relevant questions related to taxation and exports reporting from the panelists. PSEB offered to collect feedback from the industry and to share the major concerns and recommendations of the industry with the relevant authorities for resolution.

After the panel discussion, Mr. Minhaj Khokhar, Chairman & CEO of PK2100, shared his vision with the audience as to how he can facilitate local IT companies in extending their business to ASEAN countries and North America because of his presence and good networks in Malaysia and Silicon Valley. PSEB plans on holding similar industry forums with SBP and FBR in Islamabad, Lahore, and other cities in future.