Tuesday, December 31, 2019

How technology can support Pakistan economy?

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How technology can support Pakistan economy?

Pakistan is in a very exciting and decisive stage. Decisions taken now will have a far-reaching impact on our future. Politically things cant be any better to steer our economy in a new direction. The need of the moment is to invest in gradually moving Pakistan away from an industrial base to a service based economy. IT Industry is a service industry that can provide a significant boost to our economic growth in next ten years.

Technology in Pakistan is a growing industry that has the potential to expand more in the future. Matters relating to the IT industry are overseen by the Ministry of Information Technology of the Government of PakistanThe IT industry is regarded as a successful sector of Pakistan economically, even during financial crisis. The first IT policy and implementation strategy was approved under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS, then Federal Minister of Science & Technology, in August 2000 which laid the foundations of the development of this sector . Thereafter two policies were launched by the Ministry of IT under the leadership of Anusha Rahman Khan, Federal Minister for IT and Telecom (2013-2018). The Telecom Policy was announced in December 2015 , and later National Digital Pakistan Policy that was approved by the cabinet in May 2018.In 2001, a 15 year tax holiday was approved to promote the IT industry which has the grown from $ 30 million to over $ 3 billion during the last 16 years. A nationwide programme to train teachers was initiated by Intel in March 2002 in Pakistan on the request of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman which has resulted in the training of 220,000 teachers across 70 districts at no cost to the government.The government of Pakistan has given incentives to IT investors in the country during the last decade, this resulted in the development of the IT sector. From 2003 to 2005.

Investment in the human capital: Two challenges arise here. First is that need to improve general education outcomes across all levels. Second is to improve the skill set of the Pakistani labor force.

Reform the financial sector: Currently only 14 percent of Pakistanis have bank accounts; hence access to finance is very limited. The financial sector needs to be reformed with a keen focus on who it lends to, on what conditions, to what end and how it can be made more accessible across a wide array of stakeholders including individuals, the private sector and the public sector. System of creating/providing credit to these people engaged in small medium enterprises is very important. They require access loans bigger than what micro finance banks offer.


Aftab Ahmed

Hassam Ahmed

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