LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to encourage local computer assemblers by giving them due share in all its purchases as self reliance will remain a dream until and unless involvement of local industry in fully ensured. The LCCI Acting President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad was talking to a delegation of Pakistan Computer Association here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. President Pakistan Computer Association Ibrahim Qureshi, Vice President Mohammad Musa, General Secretary Arif Naseem, LCCI Vice President Sohail Azhar and former President Mohammad Ali Mian also spoke on the occasion. Elaborating the point, the LCCI Acting President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had already requested the Punjab government for changes in PPRA rules regarding a certain share of local computer assemblers in all IT related purchases. The LCCI Acting President also demanded of the government to take back 16 per cent General Sales Tax on import of software as the computer software is an educational tool and no nation can achieve progress and prosperity without having sufficient knowledge of modern technology and techniques. The LCCI Acting President said that computer industry has assumed unprecedented importance in the global economic arena and it is regarded as the fourth pillar of economy. In Pakistan, the Private sector is contributing as the main driver for growth in this industry for the last so many years. Its a fact that the importance of the industry has always been acknowledged at official level and the government has also express a strong resolve to take steps for the promotion of the industry but the ground realities are depicting the picture otherwise. Despite the poor computer density in Pakistan, the private sector has made huge efforts to streamline the sector which is a backbone of the national economy as well all other sectors of the economy. As a result of this hard work Pakistan has achieved a certain level of success over the years but the sudden slowdown has created a panic in the market which needs to be addressed any further delay and government ought to come forward and rescue this ailing sector and to reinitiate the progress and growth of the sector. Sheikh Mohammad Arshad said that Turkey has exempted its Computer industry from GST, import duty and corporate income tax while allowed personal income tax for 10 years. Vietnam has given the industry exemption of GST and import duty besides 4 years exemption of corporate income tax and relaxation in personal income tax ranging from 3 to 35 per cent. Thailand and Malaysia have also offered similar sort of incentives to their industry which is being translated into steady growth of this sector in these countries. He said that many countries have taken concrete steps to rejuvenate their stagnated industrial base by rapidly moving to the new-age technologies to produce products and services that are in great demand in the world markets. Information technology is the current choice of many developing and developed countries to upgrade their economies and become competitive in the global market place. The IT-based economies have streamlined the most complex economies of the world and enhanced the productivity to the level where an economy such as that of the US has wriggled out of the entire trillion-plus dollars national deficit and turned into a surplus in recent years.