ISLAMABAD: Society Watch President Khalid Mahmoud today said, information technology (IT) exports could be increased to $3 billion dollar per annum easily which required proper government attention and support.

Currently documented IT exports stood at $500 million and the undocumented  ones exports were estimated at $ 1.5 billion dollars , which could be brought into tax net, he said in a statement.

Khalid Mahmoud said incoherent laws, ill-defined taxation issues, market access, human resource and infrastructure were the issues which were blocking development of the IT sector.

Many companies were shifting their offices abroad due to absence of enabling environment and federal as well as provincial taxation laws which were confusing, he claimed.

He said that government should ensure proper environment for this sector and extend income tax exemption for next five years.

Promulgation of laws awaiting approval since long and problems in software registration continued to discourage IT programmers and companies to invest heavily in research and development, he added.

Khalid Mahmoud said there were over 3,000 IT companies and over 100,000 freelancers were working in this sector and they needed encouragement from the government, which could earn foreign exchange.

Indian official IT exports stood at $100 billion due to the government’s backing, therefore the Pakistan government should also do the same, he stressed