IT park being set up in Peshawar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IT park being set up in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: The provincial information technology department on Monday acquired 25,000 square feet space in Peshawar’s Deans Trade Centre for setting up an information technology park.

Establishment of a similar park is also planned in Abbottabad. To this effect, the IT department signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deans Trade Centre and another with Comsats Institute of Information Technology.

A cheque of initial payment was also given to chief executive officer of Deans Trade Centre Abdul Khaliq.

The function was held at the head office of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB).

The government had announced establishment of the two IT parks last year to diversify its investment portfolio and promote information technology sector.

KPITB managing director Amjad Shahid Afridi told participants that the government had allocated Rs1 billion for the project for the next five years and agreed to release it at once to prevent the project from possible interruptions in case of any change in political dispensation.

Mr Afridi said the government would subsidise 80 per cent of power and air conditioning costs, while Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited would provide free broadband services to startups in the two IT parks.

He said around 25,000 square feet of space had been acquired for the establishment of the IT park at Deans Trade Centre Peshawar and that would later be increased to around 100,000 square feet or a whole floor of the building.

He said investors could set up call centres and business process outsourcing and software houses in the two parks but vendors and other services were not included it.

The KPITB managing director said the government would try to keep the whole operation as one window to facilitate investors.

He said the provincial IT minister was to visit Afghanistan in March with a delegation to explore business possibilities there.

“There are huge business opportunities in Afghanistan and Peshawar has the unique opportunity to tap them,” he said, adding that investors could set up Pashto, Dari and Persian call centres at Peshawar IT park to do business in Afghanistan. He said KPITB was considering opening an office in Kabul to facilitate bilateral business relations and investment.

Provincial science and information technology secretary Mohammad Humayun told participants that the government consulted around 30 IT companies in Islamabad before going ahead with the project in light of their advice.

He said the government would prefer companies who will invest in the province in computerisation process of government departments.

Source: Dawn