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Enhanced outreach: Dar puts his weight behind digitalisation

ISLAMABAD: The government is determined to promote digitalisation all across the country, for increasing outreach and access of financial services to people for sustainable development, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Monday.

He was speaking at the signing ceremony between Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ministry of Information Technology for laying optic fibre at Awaran and Lasbela; the contract of which has been awarded by USF to Pak Telecom Mobile Limited (Ufone) worth Rs2.3 billion.

He said that the government was working for technical and financial inclusion to provide better services to the people all across the country.

This project will provide mobile broadband internet/3G services to the population in the yet deprived areas of Awaran and Lasbela.

Dar said that the national exchequer earned as many as Rs160 billion through six transparent auctions of telecom spectrums, adding that the earning from the spectrum is expected to reach Rs200 billion.

He said that earlier, only Rs50 billion were estimated from the auction of the telecommunication spectrum, however with diligence and transparency mechanism, there has been multifold increase in the earnings.

The finance minister reiterated the government’s resolve to provide internet and mobile access across the country, adding that even the remote areas would be covered in the network to promote digitalisation.

He said that villages with even a population of just 100 people would also be covered under the network.

Although it is not financially viable, but providing these services and facilities to the common people was the duty of the state, he added. Dar said that the government has been focusing on building infrastructure so attention is being paid to developing telecommunication, highways and railways to ensure proper connectivity.

For the sake of better connectivity, the government kick started Multan Sukkur project, despite it not being financially viable, said the minister.

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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