A four-member delegation from U.K led by Mr. Amjad Bashir Chaudhry called on Minister of state for IT and Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rehman, here in Islamabad today. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations as well as cooperation in IT and Telecom sectors were discussed in the meeting.
The Minister said that we are focusing on infrastructure development on priority basis especially in unserved/underserved areas in order to connect the unconnected. It’s our resolve to provide 3G connectivity to even all those villages which have the population of hundred people and don’t have even fixed-line facility hitherto. We want to ensure ubiquitous development across the country by curtailing digital divide. Our broadband penetration is surpassing 26% which was merely less than 3% earlier and we have targeted to take it up to 50% by end of 2018. In last three years, our IT export volume has touched 2.8billion dollar but we have targeted to take it to 6 billion by 2020.
Anusha Rehman apprised the delegates that women empowerment is another area where we are focusing on priority basis. We have started a special program for the girls of lower income strata through “ICT for Girls” Project and latest skills of coding and computing are being taught to them so that they could earn their livelihood honorably while sitting at their homes. 150 women empowerment centers of Baitulmaal are being equipped with latest technical facilities for this purpose. We are building more technical training centers on this pattern. Moreover, 107 girls schools situated in rural areas of Islamabad Capital Territory are also being equipped with latest computer labs and training. She further said that in order to promote and train the young entrepreneurs, the first National Incubation Center has been established in Islamabad on “ Tech-City London Model” and 04 more such centers are in the offing. International players can partner with us in these endeavors.
Mrs. Anusha Rehman said that we are focusing on Digital & Financial Inclusion; therefore, we are bringing a holistic policy framework to unleash the multibillion-dollar trade potential in the e-Commerce domain.
Member European Parliament Mr. Amjad Bashir Chaudhry said that Pakistan has shown an exemplary development in ICT’s in recent years and credit goes to the visionary leadership of the current government. He also appreciated Anusha Rehman for her tireless efforts for phenomenal development of the sector and he expressed his desire to invite Mrs. Anusha Rehman as a keynote speaker in International Digital Summit being held in London U.K in March 2017.
The Minister thanked the delegates for their keen interest to highlight phenomenal developments of Pakistan’s ICT sector at an international forum.
Federal Secretary IT Mr. Rizwan Bashir Khan and Member Telecom Mr. Mudassar Hussain were also present at the meeting.