SIFC key to economic stability, says IT minister

Umar highlights council’s role in digital transformation, attracting FDI, ensuring prompt decision-making

APP December 17, 2023
Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Dr Umar Saif. PHOTO: APP


Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Saif Umar, stated on Saturday that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) functions as an effective platform for ensuring economic stability and making timely decisions in the public interest. In a video statement, Umar highlighted, “SIFC is instrumental in paving the way for digital transformation and attracting foreign direct investment in Pakistan.”

He underscored that crucial decisions, beneficial to the masses, are being made through the SIFC forum in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The minister expressed confidence that these initiatives would contribute to the rapid development and stability of the country’s economy.

The minister further explained, “All stakeholders, including the military and political leadership, are present in the SIFC forum, which makes decision-making very easy.” He added, “We are confident that with the presence of the SIFC, the upcoming government will also be able to make timely decisions for the country’s development and public interests. Instead of unnecessary delay tactics, quick and effective decisions have to be taken in the interest of the country and the nation, for this purpose SIFC is the most effective forum.”

The minister noted that since 2014, the case of hundreds of MHz of spectrum with Sun TV was pending. The matter was raised at the SIFC forum, and all the required legal requirements were met. The Sindh High Court then heard the case daily, and the verdict of the case was pronounced on Thursday.

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Umar said, “It is good news for the people that now this spectrum will be in government custody, which is worth multi-million dollars as per the current market rate of the spectrum.”

He also mentioned that the SIFC Forum played a key role in the preparation of the country’s first space policy and its approval from the relevant forums. Similarly, negotiations with Starlink have entered the final stages, and satellite internet will be available to the public very soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2023.

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