Contribution of IT Sector in the Growth of Pakistan
Over the past 71 years, Pakistan’s growth in IT sector, when considering overall, is first disappointing but from the past 10 to 15 years marked as splendid! The industries we got are 34 in total out of more than 900 industries and in those industries the number of IT industries are minimal. After time passed and Pakistan stood up, it started using the resources for the rapid development and growth of the IT industry.
There is no doubt that Pakistan has talented and enthusiastic generations from the time when it was declared a separate state till now which is the reason for the spectacular emergence and economic growth. The starting years were very difficult for all industries including IT where no such achievements were made and there was no one who really had an eye on it because of other challenges Pakistan was facing like political instability, energy deficit and lack of promotions.
In a nutshell, the era from the time when Pakistan was made till 1990 was not in the favor of Pakistan with respect to IT industry but after that time, the Information Technology (IT) sector of Pakistan is bolstering and growing with a remarkable pace whether talk about a local market or export services. According to the recent survey, the overall business has crossed 3.3 billion in the year 2018 and 2.8 billion in the duration of 2016-2017 as per the record of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).
Other industries need heavy machinery, infrastructure, and tools while the IT industry needs no such giant contributions which turn to be a plus point for Pakistan. Information Technology only requires people who can innovate and adapt the changes dynamically and Pakistan is blessed with such geniuses. Now Pakistan’s IT industry is emerging internationally and getting the coverage of enormous inventions and solutions made by Pakistani people. More than one hundred thousand employments are official, and many other people are informally employed in this field. It is our bad that IT industry didn’t get the same industry status as of textile and other industries have got. If the Government takes necessary actions in promoting and providing education the IT industry need, then surely, we can make a ground-breaking effect on GDP and foreign direct investment.
Over the last four years, the growth rate is 97 percent approximately in the field of IT. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) grasp global importance and is empowering economics which helps in triggering the growth of all other sectors.
Contribution of Government of Pakistan in the IT industry
In the year 2000, the first IT policy and implementation strategy was approved that became a pillar of founding new industries and developing new technologies. In 2002, a training and teaching program was initiated for the teachers in Pakistan led by Intel and requested by Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman that gave us 220,000 trained teachers from almost 70 districts without a need of spending a penny by the government. There is no doubt in saying that Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman is the reason for rising in the IT industry of Pakistan. He was the one serving this industry from head to toe for the development which leads to introducing reforms and increase the research productivity in Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan got the highest increase rate of highly cited papers in comparison to other big countries.
In 2001, it was reported that Pakistan has more than 20 million internet users and it was the highest rate recorded in the countries registered as a high growth rate in internet penetration.
In the duration of 2003-2005, Pakistan’s IT exports got a rising level of 50 percent increment and the total amount was about 48.5 million USD. In the year 2012-2013 GOP decided to spend 4.6 billion on the IT projects and introduced the e-government, infrastructure and human resource development.
During the last decade, IT sector got incentives from the government of Pakistan to the establishment and development of new industries in this sector. The duration of 2013-2015 was the ground-breaking era of revolution in the IT industry as 3g/4g technologies are launched.
The launch of computerized e-government systems creating effective progress in all major like departments like law enforcement agencies, police and district administrations. The National Database Registration and Authority (NADRA) has also a computerized system that helps the organization in keeping correct information and issuing important documents. Civil services and other government department are improved by introducing such a system that is making critical working easier.
UN published a study of “Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific” (ESCAP), in which the UN mentioned Pakistan as a highly emerging country after the introduction of e-commerce and e-governance.
After the government initiatives and introduction of new policies in the IT sector, software development start growing rapidly which eventually become the cause of increment in export services. People are educating themselves and hired by renowned companies which are developing more services and innovating new businesses in Pakistan. Big industries like textiles, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages and more are now adapting the software services to work with more accuracy and increased development. Mobile application and game development are another great achievement of Pakistan that fascinates the young generation and they are enthusiastic in learning and developing new games and applications. They are now getting international fame by making innovative applications that help in solving critical global problems. Educational institutes are now offering diploma courses and other short courses in software development for the young generation who are surely going to make this industry a topper.
Above discussion testifies that Pakistan has massive potential growth in the IT industry. There is a requirement for huge improvement and advancement to compete with other developing nations. With clear direction and strategic planning, Pakistan can be among the most advanced nations with respect to IT industry and also helps in the alleviation of poverty. Now is the time for Pakistan to make it or break it as in the Fourth Industrial revolution the world is at the same scale in IT field and the one who struggles the most will be going to rule in this fourth IR.
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