Islamabad at a Glance
Working in Islamabad
Islamabad contributes to 1% of the country’s GDP. One of the city’s main industries is ICT, hosting three software technology parks, which each house major ICT companies. They include Awami Markaz, home to 36 IT companies, and Evacuee Trust House; this has 29 companies. Islamabad is also home to many of the country’s main state-owned companies, including Pakistani International Airlines and PTV. All of the country’s major telecoms operators, from China Mobile to PTCL, are headquartered in Islamabad.
Call centers which rely on work outsourced by foreign companies are a big growth area.
It therefore comes as little surprise that many of the jobs available to expats are in the ICT and telecoms industries. Individuals with relevant technical qualifications and experience and fluency in English are well placed to find jobs. Working knowledge of Urdu can also, in some circumstances, be an advantage.
Job Hunting in Islamabad
Many of the job opportunities for expats are in the ICT and telecoms industries, given that these are some of the biggest employers in the city. The online job boards are a good place to start. They include Rozee and BrightSpyre. If you have experience working for NGOs or in government roles, then the UN and local embassies also advertise jobs on their own websites and are worth considering. There is a lack of English language print media in Islamabad, and as a consequence, the Internet is a much better source of information on job openings than local English language newspapers and so on.
It is worth bearing in mind that one of the reasons that Islamabad’s ICT and telecoms industry has been able to thrive is that a lot of companies are outsourcing to Pakistan because of the low costs involved. A lot of this has to do with the cheaper workforce. Therefore, you can expect many low and mid-level posts to be paid well below the average salary rate for similar jobs in Western countries.
Income taxation in Islamabad
The income taxation rate depends on your total income level. In essence, it varies from 5% for income of 750,000 PKR or less to 30% for income of 10 million PKR or more. Being a very technologically advanced society, it is very easy for individuals submitting their own tax in Pakistan to file their submissions online rather than having to do so on paper.
The body responsible for the handling of taxation, including income taxation, matters in Pakistan is the Federal Board of Revenue. This should be your first point of contact for guidance, tax advice or information.