592 companies enter IT sector to capitalize on PTI Govt’s attractive policies

Information Technology

ISLAMABAD, Aug 18 (APP):The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Government in its first two years opened new vistas in the telecommunication sector as some 592 information technology (IT) companies got themselves registered to capitalize on the opportunity.

The IT sector’s growth reflected the investors’ confidence in the prudent and attractive policies introduced by the government, according to the two-year PTI Government’s performance report released on Tuesday.

During the period from August 18, 2018 to August 18, 2020, Pakistan’s IT sector made remarkable progress due to the present government’s full focus.

Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances, comprising computer services and call center services, were expected to reach $1.2 billion from $ 831.35 million.

The telecommunication sector has shown marvelous growth in last few years, the licenses of Cellular Mobile Operators were awarded for a period of 15 years while three of these licenses (Jazz, Zong and Telenor) were due for renewal by the PTA in 2019.

The spurt in telecommunication sector was witnessed after extensive consultation by the committees constituted by the prime minister and approval of the committees’ recommendations by the Federal Cabinet. A policy was formulated and circulated on 9th May, 2019 and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) started to implement it.

Ignite, under the auspices of Ministry of IT & Telecom, has launched a programme to build a network of National Incubation Centers (NIC) in the Federal Capital and all the provincial capitals.

The key objective of this programme was to facilitate talented entrepreneurs and provide them all necessary support for transformation of their innovative ideas into a sustainable business.

NICs facilitate and provide all key support required by startups to succeed including mentorship and networking by leading entrepreneurs, corporate chieftains, top professionals, investors and global entrepreneurial organizations through numerous events and meet-ups.

Other key facilities provided to startups include rent free office space, high speed broadband Internet, makers lab, usability labs, fintech lab, design thinking lab, AI R&D centers, and a host of other shared facilities. All five NICs are fully functional and mentoring startups in the ICT related areas.
ICT Grassroots Initiative (NGRI) programme was envisaged to assist final year undergraduate students of ICT related disciplines studying in the institutions by providing them financial assistance for developing prototypes and working models of their Final Year Projects (FYP) in order to increase creativity, innovation and hands on engineering and development skills.

NGIRI 2020 was launched on January 6, 2020 within a trivial duration of forty 40 days only for submission of FYP applications, 2,832 applications were submitted which is 33% higher than NGIRI 2019.

Moreover, 196 institutions participated in the programme from all provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan, which was 27% higher than NGIRI 2019. More than 1,040 FYP applications would be funded during first half of FY 2020-21.

Ignite under the auspices of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication had launched a large-scale national Digital Skills (DigiSkills.pk) Training Programme to provide one million trainings across the country over a period of two years.

DigiSkills.pk is aimed at equipping the country’s youth, freelancers, students and professionals with knowledge, skills, tools and techniques necessary to seize the opportunities available internationally in online jobs market places and also locally to earn a decent living.

The programme aimed at not only developing key specialized skills, but also imparting knowledge about various freelancing and other employment and entrepreneurial opportunities available internationally and locally.

From August 2018 to date, 1,282,307 trainings were imparted in seven batches against the target of 1,000,000.

The Universal Service Fund projects were launched to provide voice and broadband services area in areas of North/South Waziristan, FR Bannu/Lakki/Tank, Dadu/Hyderabad and Bahawalpur districts (3,100 Mauzas) providing benefit to the population of approximately 6.5 million.
As many as 40 unserved tehsils and towns are being connected with 900 km optical fiber cable covering Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram and Peshawar areas.

The broadband coverage on National Highways and Motorways in Balochistan would be provided to 650 kilometer of road segments on N25 and N65 and 451 Km of segments on N50 and N70.

Moreover, mobile broadband coverage would be provided to 481 Mauzas in Dadu lot serving 1.2 million population in Dadu, Jamshoro and Thatta districts; 964 Mauzas serving 2.6 million population in Hyderabad lot covering Matiari, Hyderabad, Tando Allah Yar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin and Sujawal districts.