P@SHA Looks for Government’s Role in Developing IT Policies

The Famous Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) emphasizes on the importance of the government’s role in Developing  ‘IT-friendly’ policies that will aid introduction and Innovation in the local industry and help it to expand .

The P@SHA, feels that if properly cultivated and nourished, the local IT sector can play a vital role in creating high paid jobs for Pakistan’s young population.

Furthermore, it can also contribute to building up an effective and transparent government and abet a strong growth in GDP. However, steps need to be taken by government to ensure that IT is a “priority item” on their agenda. Naseer Akhtar, Chairman P@SHA, expressed his willingness to extend the organisation’s support, with the consent of all the stakeholders, towards constructive policy-making, especially in the local IT sector. He observed that nothing has hurt the growth of the local IT industry as much as ineffective policy-making, which was why P@SHA extended its full support to the new Minister of IT & Telecom in formulating new policies and overcoming loopholes in previous ones.

It has been evident that while other countries world-wide advanced technologically, Pakistan’s IT sector dragged behind. The reasons are many and varied and include inadequate policies that have cost the industry dearly. “The delayed issuing of 3G/4G/LTE licensing by the previous government, despite the world moving over to 3G and even 4G technology, has blocked innovation in the local telecom industry for instance,” said Chairman P@SHA Naseer Akhtar. He further emphasised on how “the absence of Cyber Crime, Data Protection and Privacy Legislations have turned off the international business community’s from coming to, and investing in Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, the blocking of content and enabling ineffective policies to tackle significant issues has again cost the industry much. YouTube is a perfect example. Blocking the popular video-sharing website affected local businesses such as the Four Quants’ Finance Training Portal, UrduStudio.com, Coke Studio and Toffeetv.com, which relied on YouTube for broadcasting their content to the masses. It also blocked international learning opportunities available online in the form of free video courses on different websites like the Khan Academy or on websites of universities such as Stanford, MIT or Harvard.

Speaking about the matter, P@SHA President, Jehan Ara said, “When we disapprove of content put up on certain platforms, the way to deal with it is to use the same platforms to present our own narrative rather than living in denial by blocking access to it and impacting our own growth.”