Provinces brief Senate on IT plans, developments

ISLAMABAD: All four provinces on Tuesday briefed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information Technology on the details of projects, development of services and future plans of their respective IT sectors.

The meeting, chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, commenced with a briefing given by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) that provided an overview of various projects undertaken by it. Most notable was the Flagship Citizen’s Feedback Monitoring Programme which is bridging the physical divide between the citizenry and government departments.

The committee was also briefed on the PITB’s e-Stamping and e-Khidmat Markaz projects and the e-Rozgaar project. In addition, the Senate was informed that the PITB has also successfully deployed IT-enabled solutions for longstanding public services issues.

“Automated systems in Punjab have streamlined the government’s Hajj Programme, Lahore High Court’s operations, driving licence issuance and management of vehicular traffic on national highways,” the Senate was informed. “A Tier III Data Centre at Arfa Software Technology Park has also been established for the consolidation of IT services across the provincial government departments.”

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The committee was also informed that all Punjab government departments have started shifting their IT services and delivery infrastructure to the PITB Data Centre, adding that tech incubators, Plan9 and Accelerator PlanX, backed by the board, runs a six-month programme annually for 15 startups.

The committee appreciated the efforts of the board and suggested that many of its projects must be replicated in the federal capital as well as other provinces.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Department of Science and Technology informed the committee that the province’s IT board was focusing on e-governance. it said the ongoing development projects include Quetta Safe City Project, Gwadar Safe City Project, Establishment of Digital Library and the Government of Balochistan Data Centre.

Moreover, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Information Technology presented the details of a highly ambitious programme to generate/promote/facilitate and regulate e-government activities. The directorate is also providing technical support to other departments in IT-related activities, it added.

The Sindh Information Science and Technology Department on the occasion presented the details of its programme that included video conferencing system deployed at the Governor House, IT department and all commissioner, deputy commissioner offices. The committee was informed that a Sindh government portal has been established for citizen-centric services, including downloadable forms, news, notifications, tenders, events, complaint system and rules and regulations. The e-policing system and hospital management system for Civil Hospital Karachi have also been introduced, it added.

Committee Chairperson Senator Rubina Khalid said the purpose of the meeting was to create synergy among all provinces. She said that the work conducted by the PITB was highly commendable and recommended that other provinces, instead of reinventing the wheel, replicate its programmes. She stressed the need for Pay Pal to be introduced in Pakistan and said that the issue would be taken up in the next meeting.

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