PM for increasing IT exports from $2.6b to $15b in 3 years

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the authorities concerned to take practical steps to enhance country’s IT exports from current $2.6 billion to $15 billion within next three years.
The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to discuss the promotion of information technology sector, also directed to enhance the number of IT professionals from 0.6 million to 1.5 millions.
He instructed the Higher Education Commission, universities and training institutes to work on the said target on priority basis, besides improving the educational curriculum in accordance with the market needs.
The prime minister also ordered the formation of a standing committee to deliberate over the linkages between the government and the IT industry and for resolution of the industry ‘s issues.
The committee would comprise the representatives of the IT industry, State Bank of Pakistan, finance ministry, IT ministry and other relevant departments.
The prime minister assured to resolve the IT industry’s issues and asked the relevant authorities to take effective measures for the purpose. He also urged the IT industry to bring its export revenue to Pakistan and instructed the State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue and other departments to take effective measures.
He said Pakistan had a huge potential in the IT sector which needed to be exploited. He said the IT industry stood alongside the government to improve the national economy.
The prime minister said the IT entrepreneurs had played a key role in the promotion of the IT sector. However, the country’s IT exports were not in accordance with the existing talent.
He said the government would recognise the exporters who had played their role to enhance the IT exports. The representatives of the IT sector apprised the prime minister of their issues and put forward their suggestions.
Federal ministers Ishaq Dar and Aminul Haq, Advisor Ahad Cheema, SAPMs Tariq Bajwa, Jahanzeb Khan and Syed Fahad Hussain, senior government officers and representatives of the IT sector attended the meeting.
Besides, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday also chaired a meeting to review the implementation of the measures taken for saving energy in the country.
The meeting was told about the progress made on the implementation of the solarization projects. In the initial phase solar panels of 1000 megawatts would be installed on federal government buildings.
In this connection, the process of bidding would be started next week. It was further told that the process of policy-making for the production of solar panels at the local level in the country, had entered the final phase.
Consultation with the industries related to the manufacturing of solar panels had been completed. The participants were told that in order to increase the production of electric motorcycles, the local industry was taken into confidence to formulate a comprehensive policy.
It was suggested in the policy that all the industries would be converted by the end of the year to the production of electric motorcycles. The participants agreed to the suggestion.
It was also told that for conserving gas, all new gas geysers would come with conical baffles and by the end of the current year, the installation of baffles on the present geysers would be ensured.
It was told that the production of high energy consuming filament/ low quality old electric bulbs would not be allowed after the sale of the present stock. The present industries would be converted to the new technology bulbs which consume less energy.
The industries which were manufacturing high energy-consuming fans would also be transferred to the new technology and a comprehensive plan would be laid down for replacing the old fans.
The prime minister directed the implementation of the measures in a given timeframe. Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Advisor to the Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, Minister of State Dr. Musadiq Malik, Special Assistants Muhammad Jehanzeb, Syed Fahd Hussain, Coordinator of PM Rana Ahsan Afzal and officials concerned attended the meeting.