Work begins on five tech zones

Additional tax concessions sought for zones in upcoming budget

Our Correspondent June 03, 2022
Imposition of more taxes on technology would not yield any dividends rather, they would hurt the young generation aspiring to be technopreneurs. photo: file


Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) Chairman Amer Hashmi has said that work has started on establishing five technology zones in different cities including Islamabad, Lahore and Haripur to facilitate information technology companies.

STZA has proposed additional tax exemptions in the upcoming budget for the companies to be established in these tech zones.

The authority chairman said that state land, which had not been in any use for the last many years, was given to the companies on lease to promote knowledge economy in the country.

“With the establishment of 60 such parks in one year, the country can generate about $5 billion in revenue in two to three years,” he voiced hope.

Briefing the media on Wednesday, Hashmi pointed out that the STZA was set up in October 2021 under an Act of parliament and was being run under the Cabinet Division.

The success of the concept of cooperation between the academia, government and industry for R&D promotion has prompted countries across the globe to initiate special legislations to enable and protect the growth of knowledge and innovation ecosystem and follow the path of wealth creation through knowledge-driven solutions and services.

Currently, the United States has 115 clusters based on this concept, while China has 169, the UK 63, India 23, Iran 16, Malaysia five and Egypt three, but there is no such functioning tech zone in Pakistan.

Under the STZA Act, the companies operating in the tech zones are offered 10-year tax exemption, 10-year tax rebate, a relaxed foreign exchange policy and other benefits.

The technology companies will be provided one-window facility in these zones, and the STZA is striving for provincial tax exemptions as well for the tech zones in the respective provincial jurisdictions.

STZA officials, while highlighting their achievements, mentioned that Samsung had launched mobile phones in Pakistan, enabling the country to save millions of dollars.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2022.

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