Draft IT ordinance being revised | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Draft IT ordinance being revised

LAHORE- Provincial Finance Minister Shahid Hafiz Kardar has said that the Punjab government had established the first ever professional Information Technology body in the country Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) – and it would keep on supporting the plans and suggestions for the fast growing IT sector.

“The government is fully committed to facilitate the growth of IT sector and it appreciated the conferences like RITCON 2001, which can provide the IT professionals from Pakistan and abroad to share the latest technologies and explore business avenues,” he said.

Addressing the concluding session of two-day Regional Information Technology Conference (RITCON) 2001, he appreciated the MegaEast.com, a subsidiary of WorldCall Group for providing the IT experts of the whole region an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in software development and problems confronting this sector.

He said International software giant, Oracle, had contributed $20 million worth of software and course material for training of 750 teachers and 600 students in the Punjab.

He said the “Oracle programme had been classified as global best-practice. We’ve introduced intermediate in computer science in 139 colleges in partnership with the private sector.”

He said the government was initiating public sector data and information processing projects and introducing e-commerce for improvement in service delivery by government as well as develop expertise in the private sector in a host of technologies, enabling Pakistani companies to establish a credible track record for improving their prospects to export software services.

He said that e-business would be the future of economics and it is high time that Pakistan may invest in this field and prepare a crop of professionals who could bring Pakistan equal to the other developed nations of the world.

The draft IT Ordinance prepared by the E-commerce Working Group is being revised with the help of an international law firm. It will be placed before the federal cabinet for approval in a couple of months according to Mr Abu Shamim Arif, Secretary IT and Telecom Division, present on the occasion.

The new law would provide “legal cover to digital signatures and facilitate electronic commerce by fulfilling the IT enabling legislative requirements of the business sector,” he said.

He said the government had launched a major countywide baseline IT survey with the help of two firms. The report is expected to be compiled in eight weeks and will give a comprehensive overview of the existing IT industry in the country.

He said the number of cities on Universal Internet Scheme of the PTCL would increase to 400 in the next few weeks, The PTCL was in the process of purchasing bulk bandwidth capacity to meet the growing demand of the IT industry. He hoped that the bandwidth prices would come down further with the passage of time.

He also said that the government is initiating several plans to provide higher education to the IT professionals and fresh computer graduates so as to enable them to meet the challenges posed by the developed world.

Dr. William Tiga Tita, representative of G77 network of United Nations gave insight into the economic sector and importance of the development of computer network to support growth patterns. He said these conferences were necessary, as the experts in the filed could share the ideas and could familiarise themselves with the operating procedures of their counterparts serving the same field elsewhere in the world.

Salman Taseer, Managing Director of WorldCall Group in his concluding address thanked all the participants from Pakistan and abroad for attending the RITCON 2001. He said that MegaEast.com has pioneered this conference and this would go a long way in developing the IT sector in the country.

Source: Dawn, Business Recorder