ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar reiterated the government’s resolve for providing broadband facilities to all uncovered areas by the next fiscal year in order to fulfil the government’s vision of financial and digital inclusion.
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Addressing a contract signing ceremony of broadband facility for sustainable development in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), he said that the government was providing subsidy of Rs12 billion during the current fiscal year, which would further add over 56,000 subscribers.
The contract was signed by the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Telenor Pakistan Limited, whereas the ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman and Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf.
Dar said that the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) had approved Rs9.2 billion for the establishment of Information Technology Park, in order to tap the huge IT potential existing in the country.
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Highlighting the economic gains of the government, he said, “The world has recognised Pakistan’s economic development and is forecasting that it would become the 32nd largest economy of the world by 2030.”
The minister said that the country would be ranked among the top 17 economies of the world by 2050, and called upon his opponents to shun their petty politics and supplement the government’s efforts for the socio-economic development and prosperity of the country.
Dar said that the government was determined to eliminate terrorism from the country and urged all political forces to join hands to take the country forward.
Also speaking on the occasion, Rahman said, “The current project is a step forward towards prime minister’s vision of a digital Pakistan.”
She said that about 1 million people would avail 3G connectivity facilities and it would also play a role in the development of K-P. The IT minister said that the total cost of the project was Rs4.6 billion and the government would provide 75.6% subsidy for the project, whereas the remaining amount would be paid by Telenor.
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So far, about 4,226 uncovered mouzas were covered by USF and other projects for the provision of broadband facilities were in progress in Balochistan, Rahman added
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2017.
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