Rs 12b to be invested on telecentres, promotion of ICT


Around Rs. 12 billion would be invested in next three years to establish 500 telecentres and promotion of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT).

Universal Services Fund (USF) would fund a mega programme for setting-up of e-telecentres for which adequate provisions has been made in the budget.

USF sources on Sunday said the telecentres would help improve public access to ICT services such as NADRA facilities, biometric verification devices for issuance of SIMs, e-facilitation in health, agriculture, commerce, governance and learning to generate local employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

They said the improved connectivity of remote areas programme, the USF would also invest another Rs 2.8 billion where upon optic fiber cable was being aggressively laid to provide connectivity to outlying areas particularly in Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other parts of country.

Additionally, the sources said Rs. 3.6 billion have been earmarked out of USF to be spent on Rural Telecommunications Programme.

They said all these efforts would result in rapid rollout of next generation ICT services in remote areas.

The sources said the other initiative was Prime Minister’s ICT Scholarship Programme which aimed at providing the highest quality education opportunities at top universities to students belonging to rural and semi urban areas.

This year, Rs 125 million had been allocated out of National ICT R&D Fund to provide 500 scholarships in a transparent manner, they added.