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Caretaker IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif Awards PKR 825 Million to Boost IT Sector; Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in IT & ITeS Export Awards 2024

Date: February 14, 2024

Dr. Umar Saif, the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, recently allocated PKR 825 million in cash prizes to commendable companies contributing significantly to the IT and IT-enabled services exports. The prize distribution ceremony, organized by the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), highlighted the crucial role of the IT industry in the country’s economy. Dr. Umar Saif emphasized the importance of providing maximum incentives, facilities, and rewards to foster the growth of the IT sector.

Addressing the ceremony in Lahore, Dr. Umar Saif noted that these IT companies play a vital role in strengthening the country’s economy by earning substantial foreign exchange through the services of Pakistani digital talent globally. He expressed optimism that if the IT sector continues its outstanding performance, the target of achieving $10 billion in IT exports will be reached soon.

The distribution of cash prizes was part of the government’s initiative to encourage companies with positive growth in IT exports. Dr. Umar Saif revealed that the government had allocated PKR one billion in the annual budget for this purpose. The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and timely decisions have contributed to a remarkable 32% increase in overall IT exports in the last 60 days.

Out of the allocated fund, PKR 825 million was distributed among 550 companies with positive growth. The distribution was categorized, with the top 100 companies receiving Rs 2.5 million, the next 100 companies receiving Rs 2 million, and so on. The top 10 companies were awarded both cash prizes and trophies for their outstanding performance.

Dr. Umar Saif announced that the remaining Rs 175 million would be dedicated to companies providing employment to trained IT-skilled individuals. A key initiative in this regard is the Industry Co-Opt Program, developed in collaboration with HEC and P@SHA. This program aims to provide apprenticeship opportunities to IT students, with participating exporters receiving Rs. 50,000 per intern.

The award ceremony, titled IT & ITeS Export Awards 2024, recognized diverse winners across various IT fields. Notable awardees included Systems Limited for BPO Services and IT Consultancy Services, i2c Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for IT products and solutions, Mindbridge (Pvt) Ltd for Call Center Services, Quixel Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for Gaming and Animation, ABSLabs (Pvt) Ltd for Fastest Export Growth, and Ms. Fatima Asad Said, CEO of Abacus Consulting Technology Limited, as a trailblazing woman entrepreneur in the tech industry.

Chairman P@SHA, Mohammad Zohaib Khan, lauded the decision to provide cash rewards and awards, stating that it boosts confidence and encouragement for IT companies and freelancers. He expressed the industry’s commitment to increasing its role in the economic stability of the country.

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