IT Park to create jobs for youth, says Hoti
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti has said the Information Technology Park will create jobs and economic opportunities for youth in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in line with his government’s poverty eradication policy.
Addressing the IT Park’s inaugural ceremony here on Sunday, Mr Hoti said the provincial government was working for creating employment opportunities, providing education to all, and eradicating poverty under a comprehensive strategy.
“Poverty, low literacy, joblessness side by side extremism are also responsible for terrorism and as a counter strategy the provincial government has undertaken an elaborate plan,” Mr Hoti said, inviting youth, IT experts and private sector to take advantage of the opportunity created by establishing the first of the two IT parks in the province.
The IT Park has been set up over 25,000 square feet in a private trade centre in Peshawar. It has been established as part of the provincial government’s Rs1 billion plan involving the establishment of two information technology parks, improvement of IT infrastructure and extension of incentives to the private sector over a period of next five years, according to Amjad Shahid Afridi, the managing director of the IT Board, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The second IT Park would be established at Abbottabad, said Mr Afridi.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the chief minister asked local and foreign companies to invest money in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s information technology sector and take benefit of the incentives announced by the provincial government for the promotion of IT.
Peshawar’s IT Park, added Mr Hoti, was in line with the provincial government’s initiatives meant to create employment opportunities for the jobless, particularly, for the youth. Another employment creation initiative of the provincial government, the Hunarmand Rozgaar scheme, said the chief minister, would be launched on March 5, 2012. Loans on soft terms would be extended to skillful youth and artisans to help them earn a respectable living, said the chief minister. The government, he added, had allocated Rs1.3 billion for the loan scheme.
About the newly set up IT Park, the chief minister said it was a new beginning as the facility would enable the young IT experts and professionals to utilise their abilities to their and their province’s advantage. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s future was directly linked with the IT Park, said Mr Hoti, and after 5-6 years looking at its positive results people would say that the government took ‘the right decision at the right time’.
Such initiatives should have been undertaken by the governments of the past, said the CM, as with little investment better results could have been achieved by creating jobs for the unemployed youth and improving provincial revenue receipts.
The provincial Minister for Information Technology Mohammad Ayub Ashari, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Agriculture Minister Arbab Ayub Jan, Sports Minister Syed Aaqil Shah, and senior members of the provincial bureaucracy, and representatives of private companies were also present.
Addressing the ceremony, the IT minister said the provincial government had decided to extend special incentives to local and international software companies and call centres to encourage them to invest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s IT sector. He said the new IT businesses would get 80 per cent rebate in rent, heating and cooling, and power bills as part of the provincial government’s incentives package.
Later, Chief Minister Hoti distributed awards among those individuals and organisations’ representatives that helped in setting up the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board and the IT Park.