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Parliament to become paperless by January 2023, says federal IT minister

By Our Correspondent
February 20, 2022

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque on Saturday announced that the proceedings of Parliament would be completely paperless by January 2023, as the call attention notices, adjourned motions, attendance, voting and other businesses shall be done online.

He mentioned this while addressing a ceremony at the Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) on Saturday.

He informed the audience that as part of the Digital Pakistan initiative, all emergency response numbers would be merged into the 911 helpline across the country and the IT ministry had finalised the roadmap for the launch of a single emergency helpline to be called PEHEL-911.

Haque said the federal government was taking steps to provide internet connectivity to the rural population, especially the youth living in rural areas. “Funds amounting to Rs49 billion are being spent for improved connectivity in the country and Rs12.4 billion has been spent in remote areas of Sindh.”

He said ensuring the internet connectivity was the topmost priority of his ministry. “The IT ministry is going to ensure an improved connectivity with 4G and serving people across the country without any discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion or political affiliations,” he maintained.

According to Haque, the IT industry had been progressing rapidly in Pakistan with the IT exports of the country increasing.

He explained that the IT exports of Pakistan had increased to $2.8 billion in 2020-2021 from $1.4 billion in 2019-2020. He said his ministry had set a target of a 70 per cent growth in exports during 2022-23.

He said that they had increased the number of IT-related development projects and a majority of them would be completed soon. Due to better policies announced by the incumbent government, the number of phone subscribers had registered an increase to 189 million from 160 million within the last three years, he said. Similarly, he added, the broadband subscribers had witnessed an increase from 70 million to 100 million. “Technology is changing with every passing day and we have to equip our youth with modern technology, such as artificial intelligence and digital technology,” Haque said. “Once the youth are connected with the digital world, it will help them become self-employed.”

IT-related courses should be introduced for students so that they could find jobs in other countries, he said.