Telecom sector contributes Rs 327 billion with 6.6 pc growth in FY 2022-23

ISLAMABAD: Despite the economic slowdown and increased operational costs, the telecom sector continues to be a significant source of revenue for the national exchequer, contributing a total of Rs 327 billion through general sales tax (GST), withholding tax, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, and other taxes.

According to the latest Economic Survey report, the overall telecom sector witnessed a healthy growth rate of 6.6 percent.

The Economic Survey emphasizes the potential of the IT and Telecom sector to play a crucial role in Pakistan’s economic turnaround in the medium-to-long-term. The report states that the envisioned transformation of the country’s economy can be achieved by harnessing the potential of IT and Telecom, which can facilitate the socio-economic benefits of an advanced and data-intensive digital economy.

With the aim of launching 5G technology in the country, the government has shown its commitment to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. The Economic Survey highlights 5G as a transformative technology that enables communities to benefit from an advanced digital economy. The Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) has already identified available spectrum in maximum bandwidth, paving the way for the future implementation of 5G networks.

The IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) sector has experienced remarkable growth in exports over the past five years, witnessing a staggering 178 percent increase. This growth rate is the highest among all local industries in the services sector. The United States remains the largest market for IT and ITeS exports, accounting for 54.54 percent of export remittances receipts. The UK, UAE, Ireland, and Singapore are among the other significant markets for Pakistan IT exports.

An interesting aspect highlighted by the survey is the role of Pakistani freelancers in earning foreign exchange through the export of ITeS. These freelancers work from remote and rural communities, showcasing the potential of IT and ITeS to provide economic opportunities beyond urban centers.

The IT and ITeS sector has emerged as a strong contributor to Pakistan’s trade surplus, surpassing all other services sectors and becoming the second highest across goods and services after the textile sector, as mentioned in the Economic Survey.

Recognizing the immense potential of the IT and Telecommunication industry, the Economic Survey states that it is one of the fastest-growing and most promising sectors in the country. It has the capacity to significantly contribute to the national economy and social development. The report identifies key initiatives that will further boost the IT industry in the coming years, including the establishment of special technology zones, expansion of broadband and 5G networks, promotion of e-commerce and e-governance platforms, enhancement of cybersecurity and data protection measures, and facilitation of foreign investment and collaboration.

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


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