Potential of information technology for exports, economy and taxation
1 In the modern world, it has now become essential and important for every country to use maximum tools and methods of information technology in all areas of governance, economy, public facilitation, education and taxation.
It is also important that every country now should introduce such policies and incentives which increase their digital exports and provide employment to its youth.
The digitization environment in the country would not only facilitate its citizens but as well would increase the capacities of both government and private sectors and can easily control the loopholes and malpractices.
2 As Pakistan has a population of more than 220 Millions, there is much need to use information technology in government, economy, exports, taxation and private sectors.
The success of exports, economy and broadening of taxation has now almost completely depended upon the maximum use and expertise in information technology, which resultantly provides prosperity, progress and development in the country.
3. Digital technology has made a significant impact throughout the world on governance, taxation, development, economies, taxation, exports and businesses.
However, Pakistan is lagging behind the real potential of IT exports and towards implementation of a digitized economy and tax system.
Advances and initiatives in IT exports and for the digital economy by any country would open new opportunities and that can contribute to increase exports and reduce risks traditionally which has been associated with the vulnerability of economy and taxation.
4. As in recent times, on the other side, due to the increased demand for information security, technology upgrading, computer repair, and internet protection in recent years, many opportunities have arisen for IT experts in Pakistan.
Digital growth in Pakistan is going through a rapid evolution. The information technology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of Pakistan contributing about 1% of GDP of Pakistan at about 3.5 billion USD. It doubled in the past four years and experts expect it to grow a further 100% in the next two to four years to $7 billion. Pakistan performs better in innovation outputs than innovation inputs in 2021. It is encouraging that Pakistan rank 117th in innovation inputs higher than last year.
5. Creating a robust regulatory environment based on modern technology would be a vital step for the implementation process and for the best results for IT exports, documented economy and tax compliances.
The first part would be to develop a solid tax digitization understanding and strategy of the current environment of the country with a way forward implementation strategy with a timeline in all these areas.
6. For achieving the objectives of digitization, legal framework for implementation of law for information technology, digitization of economy and taxation with a timeline must be designed and to be strengthened as well under a well designed digitization system through getting the services of professional under an institution, who have understanding the IT exports, digital economy, tax policies and knowing the implementation mechanism.
By implementing these mechanisms it would increase not only IT exports but would also help the digitized economy and taxation.
It is utmost important, that until law relating to IT, digitization of economy and economy would not be implemented in letter and spirit, no initiative of any government for increase in IT exports and broadening of tax base can succeed and yield tax results.
7. Proper implementation of policies towards IT export, digitization of economy and taxation with a good and effective implementation strategy is a need of time for Pakistan. It would not only provide ways for increase in IT exports, documented economy, taxation, controlling the budget deficit, but would also minimize the loopholes in governance, economy and taxation.
These above steps resultantly would increase in IT exports and would minimize the burden and guided policies of international lenders institutions on our citizens and country and would provide as well good space for the government to spend money to the welfare of citizens and for economic social development in Pakistan.
—Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar is an Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan. He has served as Chairman Customs, Federal Excise& Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal Pakistan and Senior Advisor WafaqiMohtasib& Federal Tax Ombudsman Pakistan.