STZA – Special Technology Authority Act

by The House
The “Tech Destination Pakistan” initiative was announced by the IT Minister of Pakistan. This program aims to create a more favourable environment.for software development and innovation to make his country.one of the top tech players worldwide.
Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) will be established to ensure the growth of a technology-based economy by establishing special zones in which scientific and technical ecosystem development can thrive. Read this article to know more about it. 

Pakistan -An Emerging Technology Destination

The government is banking on PSEB to make its IT ambitions come true. Similarly, the state-owned enterprise has.announced more than 40 projects which will assist in expanding.industry exports by 40% and boosting income even higher!

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With this success, Pakistan becomes the first country in South Asia and one of only three nations.worldwide to have indigenous 5G capabilities. Moreover the project was made possible by an allocation from IT Ministry’s Digital Pakistan. IT Ministry allotted 4 billion rupees for it. A significant amount considering that before now such investments were not commonplace within our borders or even imaginable at times! 
 
“This news should be. celebrated with enthusiasm,” said Finance Minister during his statement announcing plans related

Internet Penetration in Pakistan

Consequently It is not surprising that the internet penetration. rate in Pakistan has increased over time. Similarly with more people using it every day, one can only imagine how. much knowledge and information awaits us out there on this new frontier for research!
 
Moreover the report also revealed some interesting statistics about what kinds of technology. each province prefers: while those living near Karachi tend to favour mobile phones. over laptops or desktop computers (76%), others have opposite. habits; 63 percent prefer laptop usage followed behind by tablets at 58%.
 
However the vast majority of people in Pakistan use the internet every day and live outside major cities. Furthermore there’s also a significant rural-urban divide when it comes to how often. users on average access social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. but all this could change soon! A new study from Journey To Digital has found that 47% percent do some form. of online activities such as shopping; 51 percent bank with an. account overseas through either formal channels.
 
Males, Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2010), and employees are all more likely to be online.

Read More: Karandaaz Pakistan Joins Hands with Pakistan Fintech Network (PFN)

Special Technology Zones Authority Act, 2021

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Similarly the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) will be established to ensure the growth of a technology-based economy by establishing special zones in which scientific and technical ecosystem development can thrive. Moreover this new law was passed on October 6th, 2021 following approval. from President Arif Alvi two days earlier.
 
STZA is a driving force in the development and innovation of new technologies with its design capabilities.
 
Consequently the organization has helped establish policies that encourage technological progress while. promoting environmental sustainability, which they do through both. designing structures for other companies or countries’ governments. as well as working within academia to create research programs focused on green solutions like energy efficiency upgrades at universities around China. 

Benefits of STZA

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Similarly with the passage of The SATWA Act, 2021 by Pakistan’s government it is now. more important than ever for entrepreneurs and investors to establish their. high-end enterprises to generate revenue that will help build this country up. Moreover this new statute encourages international businesses. looking into investing or starting a business here as they’ll be. able to enjoy being within one such technological hub where people. practice science & technology on an everyday basis; collaborate. with other nations across Asia—such China!–and Europe too!
 
The new Act will improve the country’s technology sector by providing. funding and help, with a focus on fostering collaboration between. universities, research, and the technology industry.
 
In fact the government is establishing a new organization to help promote innovation. in the technology industry. Similarly the Special Technology Zone Authority (STZA) will be headed by an executive chairperson and includes up to 8 members. with specific skill sets that are. needed for this job such as business management, marketing etcetera.
 
The authority is in charge of planning, policy development and implementation. Moreover they watch rules compliance as well as test their efficiency to ensure. that they are effective at achieving goals set forth by local government. codes or legislation
 
Moreover the body will help Pakistan to establish itself as an attractive hub for. technology companies by helping them invest in and operate within the country. Similarly they can also create one-stop shops that offer all necessary services, physical. infrastructure (roads, etc), logistics facilities & digital domains needed by businesses operating there
 
In fact these policies not only help. to attract investors, but they also help to attract FDI and venture capital money.

Read More: Leading Fintech Startups in Pakistan Posed to Put a Dent in the Local Market

Previous Technology Acts

1. Acts. Sr. No Acts
  • PTA 2017-19/No. 1-1/3, dated 22nd February 2018
  • PTA 2017-17/No. 1-1/3, dated 13th August 2017
2. ETO Act
  • Telegraph Act 1885
  • Wireless Act

Leading Points of STZA

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Triple Helix Model of Innovation

The idea of establishing a special technology. zone in Pakistan to aid their knowledge economy is not new. However the STZA was. established with this mission, and its success can be. seen by looking at how it has helped create an innovative environment that. incubates disruptive innovation through partnerships between academics, industry representatives. from all walks of life (both local and international), as well government. departments who share common goals for development. within the country’s newest economic sector: Research & Development Park Authority

Zone Enterprise

Enterprises are businesses that are. permitted to operate inside designated technology zones and are. supposed to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, research. and development, and the creation of technology jobs.

Incentives Under This Act
  • Special Currency Account eligibility. Investments, profits, and dividends are all fully repatriable. 
  • All legal payments made overseas are permitted without restriction
  • Ease of Opening and Maintaining Forex Accounts 
  • The exemption is valid for ten years from the date of license issue.

Functions of the Authority

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  • The EITI has been globally recognized as the yardstick for transparency in investment. In fact the organization will test national policies, laws and regulations that. affect zones from time to time along with any suggestions about. changes or adjustments by Federal Government Provinces Local Governments.
  • Moreover we are here to help you get your investment proposal approved! We will start and consider Zone proposals for investments that must specific treatments. or interventions, as well as recommend extra incentives if necessary.
  • Consequently take part in the formulation of all policies that will have an impact on technology. sector investment in Pakistan, including economic, fiscal, and trade policies; 
  • Moreover coordinate with Ministries, departments, agencies, and Provincial or Local. Governments on policies and their implementation that affect technology sector investment;
  • identify and promote Technology Sector investment opportunities both within and outside Pakistan.
Budget, Finance and Audit
  •  Similarly the Authority will create its own budget for each financial year under the approved. procedure and present it to the Board for approval.
  • Moreover the Budget statement must contain the expected receipts and expenditures. as well as the amounts anticipated to be. required from the Federal Government in the next fiscal year.
  • Consequently the Authority is. required to keep comprehensive and accurate records of its income and expenditures.
Grants
  • Similarly the Federal Government, Provincial Governments, and Local Governments will make yearly grants to the Authority for the smooth operation of its business from time to time.
  • However for the sake of attaining the goals of this Act, the Authority will receive domestic and foreign funding.
Funds
  • Similarly the Authority must establish a non-lapsable fund to be. known as the Special Technology Zones. Authority Fund, which must vest in the Authority and be. used to cover any expenditures and charges incurred in carrying out the purposes of this Act. Moreover all funds received by the Authority will be. credited to the Fund. The Fund will be. funded by: 
  • fees, commissions, charges, and other amounts received by the Authority; 
  •  funds provided by the Federal Government for the payment of salaries, the establishment. of infrastructure, and the day-to-day operations of the Authority. as a one-line budget
What are the Criteria to be Selected as a Zone Enterprise?

To start, the initiator considers zone investment proposals. for approval that will must specific treatments or interventions. Next, they recommend more incentives if. appropriate to the Federal Government, Provincial governments, Or Local Governments.

Final Thoughts

Pakistan has vast untapped potential in the tech industry. In fact the tech industry could prove to be a gold mine for the state. if guided considering the fact that Pakistan has large human capital and that as well. being young. Consequently STZA (Special technology zone authority) will prove to be one. of the effective steps taken to the path of capitalizing on the Tech industry.

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