High-level commission for national digitisation to be established

Government plans to legislate for national level digitisation; IT minister

ISLAMABAD: Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication, announced on Friday that the government will establish a high-level commission for national digitisation. The commission, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, will aim to address the paradigm shift towards automation, enhancing transparency, and developing infrastructure.

“The commission is necessary due to the shift towards automation for increased transparency and infrastructure development,” said Khawaja at an event organised by Huawei Technologies at its head office to commemorate World Telecom Day.

World Telecom Day highlights the importance of telecommunications in improving people’s lives and fostering societal development. This year’s theme, “Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development,” underscores the role of technology in advancing global prosperity.

Khawaja revealed that the government plans to legislate for national digitisation. She also mentioned that the mobile manufacturing and exports policy is in its final stages, aimed at boosting the country’s exports. Additionally, the National Fiberisation Policy is nearing completion, which will enhance internet connectivity nationwide.

“We will strive to provide a smartphone to every person under the Smartphone for All Policy,” Khawaja stated. “Internet and broadband access are essential rights for every citizen, not just for communication but also as sources of income and support for vital services like health and education.”

The minister also emphasized initiatives to maximize mobile phone exports under the forthcoming Mobile Manufacturing and Export Policy. Furthermore, the government is investing in the ICT sector, with 85 projects worth Rs80 billion allocated to expand internet access in underserved areas through the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Khawaja praised Huawei for its efforts in building a robust ICT talent ecosystem and accelerating digitalisation progress. She highlighted the critical role of technology and telecommunications in bridging gaps between individuals, communities, and nations, facilitating the exchange of information, ideas, and knowledge.

Zhangzhen, CEO of the Carrier Network Business Group at Huawei, shared that the company has launched Pakistan’s first Smart Village Project in Gokina, Islamabad. This project provides residents with access to health and education services through remote learning. Zhangzhen expressed optimism about replicating such projects in other regions to address the disparity between urban and rural development indicators.

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