Caretaker Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) Dr. Umar Saif distributed PKR 825 million as a cash prize to the companies playing a significant role in IT and IT enable Services exports. It is said that the IT industry, which is of playing pivotal role in the country’s economy, deserves maximum incentives, facilities and rewards, these companies are strengthening the country’s economy by earning huge foreign exchange in return for the services of digital talent of Pakistani talent worldwide. If the performance of the IT sector continues like this, it is hoped that the target of 10 billion dollars for IT exports will be achieved soon.

Federal Minister for IT Dr. Umar Saif expressed these views while addressing the prize distribution ceremony organized by The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), an organization of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, in Lahore on Tuesday. Additional Secretary IT & Chief Executive Officer PSEB Ms. Ayesha Humaira Moriani, Member IT Syed Junaid Imam, Chairman IT Association (P@SHA) Muhammad Zohaib Khan, other officials from MoITT and a large number of eminent personalities from the IT industry were present on the occasion.

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Highlighting the causes behind the distribution of huge cash prizes and awards, Dr. Umar Saif said that the IT Ministry decided to encourage companies with a positive growth in IT exports, for which the government had allocated PKR One billion in annual Budget. He said that due to timely decisions of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) on the recommendations of the Ministry of IT, the overall IT exports in the country have increased by a record 32 percent in the last 60 days. In the first and second quarters of the current financial year, the performance of many companies in IT exports also showed a positive trend. In such a situation, it was decided to give cash prizes from the allocated fund of One Billion rupees to encourage companies and accelerate positive growth.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN IT EXPORTS, CASH REWARDS & AWARDS WORTH PKR 825 MILLION FOR 550 COMPANIES
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN IT EXPORTS, CASH REWARDS & AWARDS WORTH PKR 825 MILLION FOR 550 COMPANIES

Dr. Umar Saif further said that out of the fund of PKR 1 billion, PKR 825 million has been distributed to 550 companies with positive growth. For this purpose, six categories have been made, the first top 100 companies have been awarded Rs 2.5 million, the second 100 companies Rs 2 million, the third 100 companies Rs 1.5 million, the fourth 100 companies Rs 1.25 million, the fifth 100 companies Rs 750 thousand and the sixth and last category 50 companies have been awarded Rs 500 thousand each. Out of these 550 companies, the top 10 companies have been awarded cash prizes as well as trophies for outstanding performance.

Dr. Umar Saif said that out of Rs 1 billion, the remaining Rs 175 million will be given to companies providing employment to trained IT skilled people. For this purpose, a particularly innovative endeavor is the Industry Co-Opt Program, developed in collaboration with HEC and P@SHA. This program seeks to provide apprenticeship opportunities to IT students. To incentivize IT & ITeS exporters to participate in and support Co-Opt program in placing the final year students of bachelor’s degree in computer sciences and related computing technology fields as interns. Estimated 3,500 interns will be placed in the IT & ITeS exporters that will be a part of the Co-Opt program and Rs. 50,000 per intern will be paid to the participant exporters. This process will not only highlight the capabilities of the IT skilled youths, but the industry will also be able to get talented youths according to their need and market demand, while on the other hand, cash prizes will cause a significant increase in the country’s IT exports by creating an atmosphere of competition among IT companies.

Earlier in her welcome address, Additional Secretary IT and Chief Executive PSEB Ms. Ayesha Humaira Moriani said that six categories were created in terms of IT consultancy services, IT products and solutions, call centers, gaming and animation, women entrepreneurs, and fast-growing companies. “The IT & ITeS Export Awards 2024 underscored Pakistan’s commitment to fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and positioning itself as a key player in the digital economy.” She added.

It is worth mentioning here that Diverse Winners Across IT Fields: 3 companies from each awarded the Trophy.
• Systems Limited: Recognized as top exporter and for excellence in, BPO Services, and also for IT Consultancy Services
• i2c Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd: Triumphed in the IT products and solutions category.
• Mindbridge (Pvt) Ltd: Awarded the platinum award for Call Center Services category.
• Quixel Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd: Honored for achievements in Gaming and Animation.
• ABSLabs (Pvt) Ltd: Awarded for the Fastest Export Growth.
• Ms. Fatima Asad Said, CEO of Abacus Consulting Technology Limited: Celebrated as a trailblazing woman entrepreneur in the tech industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman P@SHA Mohammad Zohaib Khan termed the process of giving cash rewards and awards as the best step for the IT sector and said that this decision of the caretaker IT Minister is giving encouragement and confidence to the IT companies and freelancers. We will continue to increase our role in the economic stability of the country.

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