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 Pakistani software firms slashing staffs by 20 per cent
 

  LAHORE, November 2 (Internews): Pakistan's exports of software have
 decreased by 30 per cent since the September 11 events in the United
 States, industry sources said here Friday.
 With the slump in exports, software developers in Pakistan are
 contemplating laying off about 20 per cent of their staffs to cut loses
 and tide over the production crisis.
 The last fiscal export of software was registered around $60 million to
 $70 million and was increasing gradually, but now the picture has
 totally been changed due to post-Sept 11 events.
 Ironically, the biggest losses to Pakistan accrue from the United
 States, which is the major market of Pakistani software, and buyers
 there have stopped placing orders.
 Expressing concern at the situation, Chairman Punjab Information
 Technology Board Humayun Mian says Pakistan will have to explore home
 market first as local software and hardware market conditions are still
 supine enough to expectations.
 "The government is determined to promote the native market by
 facilitating software-based companies with lucrative incentives like
 zero-tax," he said.
 "The main hurdle in the promotion of a native software industry is
 incompetent decision makers who have little or no knowledge about
 computer science and also poor policies," he added.
 Citing an example, Mian said that while floating tenders for official
 assignments by the government departments, the local software developing
 companies are being neglected.
 "Even though President Pervez Musharraf has directed all government
 departments that priority should be given to local software companies,
 no such kind of exercise is being done," he lamented. -Internews

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