Govt finalises cyber bill to root out terrorism | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Govt finalises cyber bill to root out terrorism

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: In order to implement the National Action Plan to root out terrorism, the government has finalised cyber bill, proposing severe punishment and penalties for offenders, said Minister of State for Information Technology (IT) Anusha Rahman here on Tuesday.

While talking to reporters on the occasion of a conference organised by Nokia, Anusha Rahman said that after reviewing the draft cyber bill, it was forwarded to the National Assembly Standing Committee for Information Technology.

She said the government proposed severe punishment and penalties, including non-bailable arrest for offenders involved in cyber crimes. The government, she said, was committed to provide an enabling environment to take the quality and coverage of mobile broadband services to a new level for the benefit of greater socio-economic development, adding that the major challenge was the roll-out of broadband infrastructure development that was going to meet all targets. Only the auction of 3G/4G, she said, had given the country a 590 percent growth rate in the field as recognised by international figures, something for which the telecom sector had waited for several years.

In the telecom policy document, the ministry has given a blueprint for telecom and IT growth, using all the international benchmarks that are going to take the country to the next level of economic growth.

According to the World Bank benchmark given earlier, every 10 percent penetration of broadband leads to 1.5 percent GDP growth.She further said that the telecom policy has been sent to the ECC of the cabinet for approval.

The Telecommunication Policy will be a blueprint for the sector’s development for years to come with socio-economic development at its heart, and a professional belief that it will mark an important step for the vibrant telecommunication sector of the country.

She further said that the overall vision of the new policy would be “Universally available, affordable and quality telecommunication services provided through open, competitive, and well-managed markets and ubiquitously adopted to the benefit of the economy and society”.

The draft policy treats all-important areas of telecom, infrastructure, licensing, services and their ubiquitous adoption. Besides covering the issue arising out of the previous policy implementation, the manuscript includes various new and innovative elements like provisions for a new competition framework, satellite communication, spectrum strategy, market based spectrum management, Over the Top services, convergence, communication security etc., which were not present in earlier policies.

Appropriate realignment in the mandates and areas of focus of the Universal Service Fund and National ICT R&D Fund have also been made to support the “Accelerated Digitisation” goal of the government for spurring socio-economic growth.

The minister said the government has withdrawn the ICH policy which caused 44 billion white minutes and caused about Rs400 billion in 13 months. The government is determined to take to make redundant such polices and give clear polices to give chance to business to flourish in the country.

Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Ismail Shah said the SIMs re-verification process was completed and all un-verified SIMs were blocked. The cellular operators have submitted the data in respect to SIMs verification and after thorough audit, the data would be released, he added.

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