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Punjab IT Sector Exempted From ‘Anti-Smog’ Lockdown

The recent exemption of the IT sector from the ‘anti-smog’ smart lockdown order by the Caretaker Government of Punjab has sparked significant relief and optimism within Pakistan’s digital landscape. This pivotal move, categorizing IT services as essential, marks a significant acknowledgment of the sector’s critical role in the country’s economy. The decision, issued in an official notification, ensures the uninterrupted operation of various key components within the IT sector, including e-commerce, international IT centers, call centers, software houses, and telecom services.

The exemption not only serves to mitigate the adverse impact of the smog-induced lockdown but also underlines the government’s recognition of the IT sector’s pivotal position in driving economic growth and development. This proactive measure reflects a concerted effort to foster a conducive environment for digital innovation and technological advancement in the province.

The Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA)’s vocal advocacy for the exemption played a crucial role in highlighting the potential repercussions of imposing restrictions on the sector. Chairman Muhammad Zohaib Khan’s compelling letter to the caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab underscored the far-reaching implications of the proposed shutdown. His emphasis on the detrimental effects on IT exports, the international image of Pakistan as an IT service provider, and the erosion of customer trust echoed the concerns of the industry at large.

In response to P@SHA’s advocacy, the Punjab government promptly revised its order, recognizing the imperative need to safeguard the sector’s operations and sustain its upward trajectory. The revised decision not only safeguards the sector’s economic stability but also reinforces Pakistan’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for technological innovation and digital progress.

This collaborative effort between the government and the IT industry sets a promising precedent for future endeavors in nurturing a robust digital ecosystem, ultimately positioning Punjab as a thriving hub for technological advancement and digital transformation.

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