KP govt allocates Rs14bn for digital projects in IT sector

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Science Technology and Information Technology (ST&IT) and Food Atif Khan has said that the provincial government has included mega projects worth Rs14 billion in Annual Development Program (ADP) with an aim to boost the digital economy, transparency and improved service delivery to citizens.

The minister expressed these views in a statement issued from his office here on Wednesday.

The minister added that the provincial government was taking a keen interest to materialise the dream of a digital Pakistan to accelerate economic development, social progress and acquaint the youth with emerging digital technology skills.

While giving details of the projects, Atif Khan stated that Citizen Facilitation Centers (CFC) costing Rs2.70 billion would be established in all districts including, newly merged districts to facilitate the public in getting easy access to basic services such as domicile, birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates; arms and driving licenses, as well as vehicle registrations.

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The establishment of a Digital Economy and Skill Center at the cost of Rs742 million in Mardan has also been included in mega projects for enhancing and equipping the youth with specialised and latest IT skills.

He further said that Special Technology Zones (STZs), spanning over 2,000 kanals in Mardan, hd also been earmarked for setting up special technology industries.

Further, Digital City Haripur worth of Rs1.3 billion would be established soon whereas the project is expected to boost the digital economy and generate employment opportunities for youth in the area.

Speaking about the Gandhara Digital Complexes at Peshawar and Swat, the minister said that at Rs4.06 billion has been set aside for the projects under which IT parks, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and incubation centers would materialise soon.

Atif Khan said that Rs1 billion had been also allocated for digital skills and capacity building of youth in all merged districts, adding that government has also initiated the ADP scheme for to promotion STI across merged areas with the total cost of Rs300 million.

Moreover, he said that Rs450 million was earmarked for capacity building in emerging technologies for human resource and enabling environment for research in biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), big data and data mining, robotics, and materials science.

“Furthermore, enhancing industrial competitiveness and innovativeness for technical support to SMEs, establishment of technology incubation centers, technology regulations, origin certification, and HR development of labour  are new projects which have been included at the cost of Rs450 million this year,” he concluded.

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