NAS-IT urges government to enact policies to transform Nepal into a Global Tech Hub

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Association for Software and IT Services Companies (NAS-IT) has put forth a series of recommendations aimed at fostering Nepal’s emergence as a global tech hub.

In a press conference held on Sunday, NAS-IT leaders detailed their suggestions for the upcoming fiscal year 2024-25 budget, emphasizing the need for significant tax incentives, policy recommedation, enhanced financial access for startups, and the creation of robust infrastructure to support the IT industry.

Tax Incentives and Financial Support

NAS-IT has called for a comprehensive tax incentive policy that includes a ten-year corporate tax exemption and 8 percent export credit facilities. These measures are intended to bolster the competitiveness of Nepali IT companies on the global stage.

By proposing a zero percent corporate tax rate, NAS-IT believes that Nepal can attract more foreign investment and encourage domestic entrepreneurs to scale their operations.

In addition to tax incentives, NAS-IT has requested the government to facilitate financial access for IT startups and entrepreneurs. This includes the provision of low-interest loans specifically tailored for the IT sector.

The organization has also suggested the introduction of insurance policies for IT companies, with 90 percent of premium costs subsidized for the first five years. Such policies would mitigate risks and provide a safety net for burgeoning IT businesses.


Infrastructure Development and International Exposure

NAS-IT’s recommendations extend to the development of physical and institutional infrastructure. The organization has urged the government to operationalize IT parks and establish IT hubs across the country. These facilities would provide essential resources and support for IT companies, enabling them to thrive and expand.

Furthermore, NAS-IT has emphasized the importance of prioritizing local companies in government software procurement processes. By supporting homegrown businesses, the government can stimulate the domestic IT industry and create a more vibrant tech ecosystem.

NAS IT also advocates for the active participation of Nepali IT firms in international IT exhibitions and the establishment of branch offices abroad. These efforts would enhance the global visibility of Nepali IT products and services.

Policy and Governance

To streamline the development and promotion of the IT sector, NAS-IT has proposed the formation of an autonomous IT board governed by a separate legal framework.

This body would be tasked with overseeing the strategic growth of the IT industry, ensuring that policies are effectively implemented and that the sector receives the necessary support from the government.

In his address at the press conference, Santosh Koirala, Vice President of NAS-IT, highlighted the potential of Nepali IT companies to compete on the global stage if supported by favorable government policies. “Together we can grow by establishing a global tech hub in Nepal,” Koirala stated.

Koirala further said that, NAS-IT has been at the forefront of advocating for the advancement of Nepal’s IT sector. Since its inception, the organization has focused on innovation, empowerment, collaboration, capacity building, and policy advocacy. Its vision of transforming Nepal into a global tech hub is driven by a commitment to creating a conducive environment for IT businesses to flourish.

Collaborative Efforts and Future Outlook

NAS-IT has underscored the need for collaboration between the government and the IT sector. This includes working with embassies to promote Nepali IT products and treating large software projects as infrastructure projects to attract more investment. The organization also suggests adopting the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to drive innovation and efficiency in the sector.

Deepen Chapagain, General Secretary of NAS-IT, expressed optimism that the government would address their concerns in the upcoming budget. “We are very much positive with the government that they will include our genuine concerns in the upcoming budget,” he said.

Chapagain also affirmed NAS-IT’s commitment to providing ongoing feedback and assistance to the government to ensure the growth and development of Nepal’s IT industry.

Economic Impact and Employment

According to NAS-IT, implementing these recommendations could transform Nepal’s IT industry into a 700 billion NPR (approximately 5 billion USD) export industry within the next decade.

The organization envisions that the establishment of small IT parks, facilitated by renting buildings ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 square feet in different parts of the city, could significantly boost the sector.

Abhaya Poudel, Treasurer of NAS-IT, stressed the importance of export subsidies for the IT sector. He claimed that with adequate government support in terms of export subsidies, tax holidays, and the development of high-tech parks, Nepal’s IT industry could achieve substantial revenue growth.

By aligning government policies with the needs of the IT industry, Poudel believes that Nepal can unlock its potential as a significant player in the global tech market. The organization’s comprehensive set of recommendations for the fiscal year 2024-25 budget aims to lay the groundwork for sustained growth and development in the IT sector, ultimately contributing to the nation’s economic prosperity.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday May 27, 2024, 12:15:36 AM |

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