The first six months of the current fiscal year (2022-2023) have proven to be quite triumphant for the Information Technology (IT) sector of Pakistan. It contributed $1,333.230 million to the economy, marking a growth of 2.41 percent as a whole at a time when industries are shutting down due to losses, high costs and negligible returns. If anything, this development points towards the direction in which our economy must be led.
The IT sector has primarily seen success through the export of services like software consultancy, hardware consultancy as well as repair and maintenance. Local experts have correctly identified a gap in the market and capitalised upon it to the point that these services are sought after across the globe. Despite such achievements and consistent performance—keeping in mind that the sector has been generating profits for years now—the government is yet to give the sector the boost and platform it needs to expand and thrive.
As of right now, barriers in the way of freelancers and IT experts are too inescapable to ignore. For instance, Pakistan lacks platforms like PayPal through which international payments can be made directly to freelancers. All processes are done through banks, making the process entirely tiresome. Furthermore, opportunities to work remotely are limited due to the poor infrastructure of the country. What is even more troubling is that the high-performing sector is not given the leeway it needs from the government to become a major source of income for the country. It remains a minor contributor in a state that refuses to evolve with the high-paced and technologically inclined world that we live in today.
It is about time we shift our focus on making our economy more diverse and dynamic, rather than hoping that the decades-old framework set up functions the way it did in the past. Times are changing and we have to change with them; losses must be recognised and opportunities must be capitalised upon.