Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is promoting advance ICT services in the country to make ICT sector grow and take it to rank 115 (2017-18) in international arena.
According to Global Information Technology Report (GITR 2017-18) Pakistan’s ICT ranked 115 in 2017-18 as compared to 122 in 2016-17, out of 137 countries, the strength of Pakistan in innovation ranked 60, business sophistication ranked 81 and availability of latest technologies ranked 70.
However Global Information Technology Report (GITR 2017-18) said that Pakistan lags behind the most of the dimensions of the survey even in the regional context. Pakistan is lowest ranked amongst South Asian countries.
However, the main barriers in growth are market inefficiencies, specially the number of procedures to start a business ranked 125, trade tariffs ranked 135 and secondary & tertiary education enrollment ranked 118 & 115 respectively.
Ministry official said, in telecommunication sector, cellular density increased from 70.85 percent to 72.14 percent. The 3G/4G broadband services further increased subscribers from 42.08 million to 49.46 million.
He said ministry was already working on infrastructure and National Incubation Centers (NICs) had already been established at Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. Currently, 40 startups are housed in these facilities. NICs at Karachi and Quetta have been awarded and will start operating soon.
Under the aegis and funding by Ignite, 33 projects worth Rs 580 million with the potential to create marketable products and services had been approved for funding.
Besides, extensive consultation with stakeholders on Digital Pakistan Policy had been completed and the draft is in the process of approval by competent authorities, he added.
This Policy would lay foundations of constructing a holistic digital ecosystem. Consultation on formulating Cyber Governance Policy had also been started. In the PSDP 2017-18, Rs 3,500million was allocated for ICT sector.—APP