A sustainable economy needs sustainable infrastructure, but fixing the infrastructure still remains a major challenge in Pakistan. Unless the country addresses this challenge, it can’t realise its true potential, Mircosoft Pakistan’s Country Manager Amir Rao said.
He was speaking during a media roundtable – Empowering businesses through technology innovation – at the company’s liaison office on Monday.
In what can be described as an analysis of Pakistan’s technology sector, Rao shared various examples, ranging from energy to education and healthcare, and highlighted the importance of sustainable IT infrastructure and its impact on the economy.
MS Pakistan is going to unveil its detailed plan for a national broadband highway in a month, Rao said. MS has been working on a broadband penetration plan and the technology giant would like the country’s broadband penetration increase by at least 20%, Rao had said in a previous interview to The Express Tribune.
The company is going to present its plan to the government that will include suggestions on how the latter can fix the IT infrastructure and link it to schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, land revenue department, etc.
“In order to take this country forward, we must stay abreast of all technological innovations because these advances promise a sustainable economic future,” Rao said. “People make up for societies and societies make up for countries and that’s the main theme of our mission statement,” he added.
The MS Pakistan’s chief, who was previously associated with telecom and infrastructure development, said if the country had a one-window system for services like birth certificates, national identity card, land revenue, property registration, law enforcement and healthcare and linked it to an IT system, it would have benefited a great deal.
This kind of one-window system for public infrastructure would save the country a lot on costs, improve transparency, reduce frustration levels of citizens and improve the quality of life, he said.
However, the one-window system needs layers and layers of infrastructure, Rao said, adding, “we only need to identify the right domains of public infrastructure – schools, hospitals, law enforcement and information.”
He further said that MS already has a citizen care framework technology, but it needs support infrastructure.
Explaining how technology can bring about change, Rao used the example of the 2013 general elections. People were informed and they made educated decisions, he said. Similarly, when they are connected and have access to education, health and information, their true potential can be realised.
The MS Pakistan chief also stated that for a country like Pakistan the infrastructure should come at zero net cost. “We are willing to provide every kind of technical support, you [the government] just take the initiative,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.