Ever since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has established office, they have been receiving multiple recommendations on how to improve the system, and at the core of every recommendation thus far has been technology.
In the latest recommendations to the latest government, computer venders/importers and assemblers have proposed to the Finance Minister Asad Umar to set up a digital ministry to exclusively deal with the rapid developments taking place in the IT world.
On Monday, Yousaf Jamal the Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Computer Association (PCA), made a presentation to Asad Umar on the future of IT industry and recommended ways for improving functioning of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Where he suggested that in view of the rapid developments taking place in the computing world, the government of Pakistan should set up a new digital ministry, not only to connect industries/universities/hospitals and many other segments within Pakistan but also to enable the citizens to enhance their outreach and excess to global markets.
He said, “If we put the right people on the right job then it would create an atmosphere of competitiveness amongst ourselves to forge a head to put targets together to take our IT industry to higher levels than it currently stands at.”
According to the Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Computer Association, the first and the foremost task of the government should be to convert the entire country’s cable system to fiber cables. As it is important to get the flow of information at a quality speed, without much hindrance and at the same time providing upgrade to the computer systems currently in use,
“This would certainly require a financial and quality human assistance. However, it would be a worthwhile investment, which would pay gradually but surely in years to come. This should also include incentives and interest free loans for the startups to join this specialized field not only to improve their own income but also to create opportunities for bringing in the foreign exchange to the country”, said Yousaf Jamal.
The prime hurdle of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) according to Yousaf Jamal is the kind of harassment and corruption that exists in FBR from top to bottom. The total overhaul is required and the new government needs to engage with all the stakeholders to come forward and submit serious and workable proposals, he said.
Furthermore he suggested, “We need to look into the entire tax system of various taxes being charged at number of levels, duplicating the same taxes again and again. Various tax regimes, in which exemptions are available but businessmen are deprived of them for no reason given and kind of non-serious and non-helpful attitude, makes you feel so low when it comes down to dealing with FBR officials on matters relating to taxes.”
Yousaf Jamal also went on to state that large corporate companies have the ability to maneuver due to their size and the capital available to them from various sources including financial institution and that the financial institutions feel somewhat comfortable with them due to their size and the kind of assets available to draw comfort from.
Overall, according to him the problem lies with SME sector, which due to their sheer size, is not in a position to take any financial assistance and often with great track records not being able to borrow money for any expansion in their business.
During his presentation, he stated various problems and challenges within the systems faced by SMEs and also talked about cash flow problems that the industry currently faces.