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IT plays fundamental role in uplifting lesser developed areas: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that information technology plays a fundamental role in uplifting the less-developed areas through connectivity.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the signing ceremony for award of Rs1.28 billion contracts by Universal Service Fund (USF) to cellular companies for provision of voice and high speed mobile broadband data services in areas of Balochistan and Sindh.
The Prime Minister said, “Digital Pakistan is our future and by concentrating on the IT sector we can enhance our exports.” He said that modern technology is of paramount importance in the fifth industrial revolution, adding, “We can introduce a virtual education system in remote areas to equip our youth with knowledge and skill.”
He said the IT sector can create opportunities for backward and far-flung areas. He said, “Today’s agreement signed among USF, Ufone and Jazz very rightly conforms to our vision of bringing the less developed areas, especially the interior Sindh and Balochistan, at par with other areas as they had been neglected in the past.”
The contract signed between USF and Jazz will cover the areas of Khairpur, Sukkur and Ghotki in Sindh, whereas the areas under the contract signed between USF and Ufone include Bolan, Jhal Magsi, Ziarat and Kalat in Balochistan.
Imran Khan regretted that lopsided development in the country had affected these areas. He said the MoU would lead to wider connectivity in these remote areas, thus paving a way for development and prosperity.
He cited construction of Karakoram Highway in Gilgit Baltistan which had connected inaccessible areas and helped in improving the standards of living and educational facilities.
The Prime Minister said that the majority of the people in those areas also want provision of e-learning and distance learning facilities through the use of mobile phone services.
He said that Pakistan has the second largest young population in the world which possesses ‘a vibrant potential’, and stressed that the IT ministry should work further in tapping the IT skills. The Prime Minister said that setting up IT parks is also a significant step by the ministry as it would have positive impacts upon the country’s exports.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed that special attention be paid to the system of disbursement of subsidy in a fair, transparent and efficient manner to the beneficiaries.
The Prime Minister said this while chairing a meeting here on Wednesday to review progress in the ongoing reform process in the power sector.
Imran Khan instructed to prepare a roadmap, while keeping in view the reforms in the power sector, power generation, needs, ups and downs in power usage in different months of the year, cost of production, sales and revenue and impact of electricity on other sectors to bring the power sector out of crisis. Besides, a mechanism should be adopted to fulfil electricity needs of all the other sectors.
The Prime Minister said that the power sector is facing a serious crisis. He said not only the common man, but the industrial sector is adversely affected by expensive electricity agreements. He said a mountain of circular debt was established in a bid to provide cheap electricity to consumers and the government exchequer is facing this burden.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing about taking ahead the ongoing reform process in the power sector and time frame set for this purpose to achieve various targets. – TLTP