Govt plans to expand ICT to all provinces: Anusha

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman has said that the government is planning to replicate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Girls programme in all the provinces to expand knowledge based economy.

Addressing the ‘Taking Stock and Moving Forward’ conference organized by Ministry of IT in collaboration with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Ignite National Technology Fund and Universal Service Fund (USF) here, the minister said, “We have endeavoured to provide our woman and girls greater access to education, economic resources, skill development and employment opportunities”.

She said the IT ministry had started a project in Balochistan costing Rs 26 billion to provide the 3G service to the people of province. It was the biggest investment for the province in the country’s history, which aimed to target hundreds of villages to connect through 3G service, she added.

The project, she said, would cover Awaran, Jhal Jao and Mashkai tehsils/sub-tehsils of Awaran district and Bela, Lakhra, Liari, Uthal, Dureji, Hub, Sonmiani and Kanraj of Lasbel district.

Due to the provision of 3G service, other services like Careem would be started in Balochistan which would a great achievement of the Ministry of Information Technology, she added.

Anusha said the provision of both voice and data facilities in Balochistan were part of 3G licenses.

The minister described the DigiSkills programme as an important part of Information Technology initiative of the government. The  programme would create online employment opportunities to enable youth to earn 200 to 300 dollars per month as they would have access across the globe.

She said the telecom sector was the most important for speedy development, particularly in rural areas. The telecom companies contributed to the country’s revenue through the USF, she added.

Among the telecom operators of Pakistan, Ufone was able to win the most from the 12 projects. The company was awarded projects worth Rs 14.2 billion in various cities of balochistan, including Sibi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chagai, Awaran, Kharan-Washuk and Dera Bugti districts.

The minister said the government was making all out efforts to introduce 5G technology in Pakistan by 2020 to bring it at par with the developed economies in terms of technology advancements.

Naveed Ahmed, Chairman PTA, Dr Daniel Ritz, President PTCL, Henry Wang, CEO China Mobile Pakistan Zong), Rashid Khan, CEO PTML (Ufone), Yusuf Hussain, CEO Ignite, and the ministry officials attended the event.