Software Industry


The industry is basically handicapped because of the standards of education that are falling all the time. Elitism nurtured by the government policy towards the high paying vocation as computer engineering and application further compounds the problem. The government has indeed given a number of incentives in the 1998-99 budget by withdrawing customs duty on computers, exempting software export earnings from taxes and lowering data communication rates for software exporters. Besides, the government has given the industry firm commitment to remove any impediments in the developing of software industry.

Fauji Foundation would establish a software company in the name of Fauji Soft. Habib Bank Ltd. has taken the initiative and decided to provide financial assistance to the software industry in Pakistan with the vision to bring about exponential growth in this high value-added sector with enormous export potential. It was noted that the software industry had great export potential and financial support from the HBL and would help the existing software houses to expand their operations. A significant portion of funds will be allocated for the creation of new software houses.

The Trade Policy 1998-99, it may be noted, has set a target of $2 billion for software exports but it did not reckon with the fact that the country is woefully short of manpower with requisite level of education and skill. Although, training centres have mushroomed in almost every city but the quality of training provided by these leaves much to be desired. Many of these have come up only to swindle the aspirants for skills in computer technology and applications, because they have neither the computers commensurate with the number of students admitted nor the teachers of required quality. Every person who has learned something about the use of computers styles himself as expert.

The industry is basically handicapped because of the standards of education that are falling all the time. Elitism nurtured by the government policy towards the high paying vocation as computer engineering and application further compounds the problem. The government has indeed given a number of incentives in the 1998-99 budget by withdrawing customs duty on computers, exempting software export earnings from taxes and lowering data communication rates for software exporters. Besides, the government has given the industry firm commitment to remove any impediments in the developing of software industry.

The Commerce Minister, Mohammad Ishaq Dar has expressed particular interest in exploring software industry as a means of bolstering the exports economy of Pakistan. …

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