The Senate has struck down a proposal asking for a staggering 53% cut in the IT budget today citing it as unreasonable. The Standing Committee asked the Federal Government to restore the budget as they were of the view that this budget should be increased considering economic growth worldwide depends on progress in this particular domain.
Last year, statistics showed that Pakistan IT exports have crossed $1 billion and these exports were exempted from taxations by the previous government. The proposed cut is part of the government’s initiatives to conserve budget as the country faces a grave situation with currency devaluation and inflation.
However, the Senators noted that the IT sector is the backbone of economies throughout the world and any proposed cut would prove disastrous for the startups currently operating here. Senator Rubina Khalid who is the committee chairman said, “The huge budget cut for the IT sector is totally unreasonable, especially when the economic growth worldwide depends on progress in this field.” Senator Rehman Malik further added, “The IT Budget should be increased by at least 50%, if not by 100%.”
During our TechJuice Circle, Islamabad event, former PITB chairman Dr. Umar Saif particularly stressed that the government needs to establish a fund of funds which will be used to empower startups in our ecosystem. Through this and a number of other steps, we would be able to establish billion dollar IT companies but this proposed cut by the government is a step in the exact opposite direction. If we are to create a startup-friendly environment, we must be willing to invest resources.
What are your thoughts regarding this proposed cut in the IT budget?