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Pakistan Computer Association President Munawar Iqbal told Business Recorder on Thursday that the budget has not provided any relief to save vital and much-needed computer industry. The major demand to withdraw sales tax on computer has not been accepted, maintaining serious implications for the industry.
He said that the decision made by previous regime to levy 15 percent GST on computer industry badly hampered its growth, which is significant and prerequisite for all other sectors of the economy. The industry was expecting a better approach from the new government, but the budget has failed to translate this claim into reality. It has offered no relief for the industry, which is being considered as backbone of the economy in other countries of the region and enjoys a highly privileged status.
He said that the efforts to retain the 15 percent sales tax has escalated the computer hardware prices and the implementation is dampening the imports every year. As a result of increasing prices of PC and computer equipment, students all over the country are reluctant to opt for computer subject. Under these circumstances, investment in this sector is squeezing by each passing day and we have provided all the data in this regard so that the new government may be able to understand the gravity of the situation.
He said for the last two year our association appealing for waiver of 15 percent GST on the import of computers and all other related equipment at least for next few years so that the industry could get out of present fragile situation. The association also pleaded that the imposition of GST has nothing to do with the revenue but it would hurt the booming IT industry of Pakistan. Moreover, software export has also suffered due to this decision. Iqbal urged the government to reconsider the stance towards computer industry and evaluate the implications of GST on realistic grounds.