IT Minister inaugurates ITCN Asia’s Exhibition

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin-ul-Haque inaugurated a three-day global ITCN Asia exhibition here on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion the minister said that the foreign direct investment in the telecom sector has exceeded 1.2 billion dollars.
While the Telecom revenue was Rs 605 billion in August 2018, which reached Rs 694 billion by December 2022 with an increase of Rs 89 billion, he added.
The minister said, “The total volume of the telecom industry has reached 16. 9 billion million dollars.”
He said about 19.7 mobile phones and smart devices are locally manufactured and due to local manufacturing, the import of mobile and smart devices has decreased from 10.26 million to a record level of 1.37 million.
He said that as of August 2018, the number of active SIMs in the country was 152.4 million, which reached 192.7 million by December 2022.
The number of broadband subscribers reached 124 million while the broadband penetration was recorded at 56.00 percent, he added.
He said that National Information Technology Board is playing an active role in implementing e-governance programs and during the last 4 years, the NITB developed and launched more than 31 portals and more than 15 mobile applications.
He said under the paperless track program, NITB ensured the implementation of e-office in 40 ministries and over 100 departments.
He said eight incubation centers of ignite have created an entrepreneurial vibe in the country which is helping in establishing new startups in almost every sector.
The minister said start-ups of the National Incubation Centers established in the country, received an investment of $20 million from various sources last year. Under the National, Freelance Training Program initiated and funded by the Ministry of IT, as many as 20 training centers were established across the country.
As many 8,647 graduates, he said, were trained through International standard IT courses, and these students contributed to the country’s economy by earning $23 million through freelancing after training. During the year 2022, around 1638 new IT companies got registered with Pakistan Software Export Board, while 761 call centers and 1463 freelancers were also registered with the PSEB.

He said that about 33 million people have got themselves registered for freelancing courses under the DG Skills Programs of Ignite, which is 75% more than the target. By June 2022, the freelancers trained with DG Skills have earned a whopping $290 million, adding to the country’s foreign exchange reserve.

The minister also visited the pavilions of Zong, various technology companies and start-ups at the exhibition and was briefed about various gadgets and creative devices.

He appreciated the facility of vehicle registration, transfers, tax payment, and driving license with the support of the Excise Department and Islamabad Traffic Police in the pavilion set up under the National Information Technology Board in the exhibition.