ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
The Minister of State for IT, Mrs. Anusha Rehman, chaired the 32nd meeting of the Board of Directors of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) to assess the state of the IT industry of Pakistan and to evaluate the steps being taken by PSEB to bolster the long term growth of the IT Industry as well as IT exports. Federal Secretary IT Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha,Chairman P@SHA, Mr. Syed Ahmed, MD PSEB, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, and representatives from Ministry of Finance and TDAP were also present in the Meeting.
MD PSEB informed the board that PSEB has launched a new counseling center to guide and mentor IT startups and SMEs as well as IT graduates and also placed Contact information for counseling center on PSEB’s website. He also apprised the board that five IT companies will be participating with PSEB in the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where these companies will showcase their expertise in mobile applications and other IT services.
The Board was also updated that interim report of feasibility study regarding establishment of first IT park in Islamabad, has been submitted by Korean consultants and that final feasibility will be submitted by March. The Minister said that after approval of this project by ECNEC, ground breaking ceremony of IT Park will be scheduled in summer of 2016.
The Board directed MD PSEB to prepare a summary for tax exemption on IT exports beyond June 2016, to motivate IT companies to remit more of their earnings to Pakistan instead of relocating to another country and keeping their earnings abroad.
While talking about the CMMI training and certification program, Minister shared with the Board that the PC-1 had been approved by Ministry of Planning under which 5 local CMMI auditors will be trained and certified. She said that it will be cost effective to use these local auditors for CMMI certification instead of using foreign auditors which are very expensive.
The Minister said that we are offering 3000 ICT internships by summer of this year. IT graduates will take NTS test first and in first phase, top 1500 of them will be placed in IT companies and IT departments of non-IT companies. Second phase will involve placement of another 1500 interns. The goal is to create jobs for IT graduates through these internships.
The Minister further said that we had launched the Digital Pakistan concept last year and directed PSEB to collaborate with P@SHA to organize conferences on Digital Pakistan in Islamabad where all of the major stakeholders in the IT industry including CEOs and different ministries and industries to be invited.