Information Technology policy ready for approval -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Information Technology policy ready for approval

ISLAMABAD- Information Technology Policy is ready and waiting the Cabinet’s approval. We want to replace sewing machines with PCs, said the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Professor Dr Atta-ur-Rehman while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 11th All Pakistan Software Competition and Exhibition, organised by Dr AQ Khan Research Laboratories at a local hotel.

We want our girls to produce software and not confine themselves to sewing, he said. The Minister said that Internet service will be extended to all villages via the wireless system. Fifteen to 20,000 people he said would he trained every month as data operators. The government he said will set up a virtual university on Internet to train 100,000 people every year.

Medical transcription training programme he said has also being launched which will train Pakistanis to feed medical transcription into computers. The Minister also told the participants that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recently given permission to open Internet merchant accounts to initiate the way for e-commerce in the country.

New legislation he said has been framed and sent to Law Division for e-commerce, or Internet-based business development in Pakistan. The prices of PC he said would also be brought down in the country by bulk purchase for schools and by manufacturing them locally. The minister also said that the SBP has also directed the banks to consider contracts for software exports with foreign firms as collateral for the purposes of loans.

Talking about his visits to Europe, USA and Far East the Minister said that companies like Cissco and Lockheed Martin will be soon starting their operations in Pakistan. He said a 50 dollar million project fund has been created in the United States through his local contacts to finance software and IT development projects in Pakistan.

The government, Professor Atta-ur-Rehman said, has recently allowed the Internet delivery over cable networks and working out to further bring down Internet bandwidth rates. He said that software parks are being established in the country and first Software Park is working at the Awami Markaz, Islamabad.

The telehousing project, he said is under consideration of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) as a joint venture programme. He pointed out that the, project will help bring down the cost of Internet services and make them more efficient. Dr Atta said a UK-based company will bring an investment of 10 million pounds for the project.

About the exhibition, the Minister remarked: “Our young generation does not lack in talent. We need to groom it to the level that it is visible across the globe.”

Eminent nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan said it is for the first time in the history of the country that a scientist of world acclaim has been given charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology. He observed that previously people like Haji Nawaz Khokhar, Jehangir Badar and Abida Hussain were appointed Minister of Science and Technology.

Dr AQ Khan said we will compete with our neighbours in the fields of IT as well which is the hard currency. He hoped that with the efforts of Minister the IT will get a tremendous boost.

Chairman of Organising Committee Dr M Ashraf Atta said that 185 entries were received for the competition out of which 80 were selected for display. He said a panel of judges will evaluate each project during the three days and the first prize of Rs 50,000 will be given to best computer programme. The award has been sponsored by Export Promotion Bureau, while in Student Category Rs 30, 000 award will be given by Time and Tune.

Source: The Nation
Date:7/24/2000