LAHORE: Science and Technology (S&T) Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that the government was focusing on biotechnology to ensure its contribution to GDP up to 4pc and increasing its exports to $4 billion within next 10 years.
Addressing a news conference at the PCSIR Complex, he said that Pakistan could not overcome deficit through wheat, cotton and textile products alone.
That was why, the government was focusing on innovative technologies in every field, he added.
The minister said that the process to shortlist astronauts for Pakistan’s first Space Mission-2022 would be initiated by February 2020, asserting that the country would send its first space mission in collaboration with China.
He said that this year, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government increased the S&T sector budget by 600 times. “As we have the full support of Prime Minister Imran Khan, this budget will be enhanced by 1,000 times in the next financial year,” he added.
Fawad said that after the 1970s, Pakistan succeeded in entering the world arena of science and technology again, citing that the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) also recognised that Pakistan had staged its comeback in the field of science and technology.
He said that the government had also made efforts to change the energy scene, adding that Pakistan’s entire engineering sector suffered a lot as the country could not manufacture a combustion engine over the last 30 years.
“But today, the government was focused on revamping the system by setting up targets,” he added.
With active support of PM Imran Khan and Climate Change Minister Amin Aslam, he said Pakistan would be able to manufacture solar panels within next one-and-a-half years, and “we would also be manufacturing lithium batteries”.
He said that future was of lithium batteries and the world had now switched over to powerful lithium batteries, adding that Pakistan should also have followed the suit because new innovative technologies would change the entire power distribution system within the next 10 to 15 years.
He claimed that Pakistan would become the first country in South Asia manufacturing solar panels and lithium batteries which would be the basis of the country’s advancement in the field of science and technology.
“Pakistan would again be the first in South Asia introducing battery-operated buses, as two Chinese companies in Pakistan were at final stage to manufacture such buses, which would also be operated in Lahore and other major cities.”