LAHORE Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said the government is paying special attention to the promotion of information technology in the province as it is the need of the hour for speedy progress and development. The foundation of a revolution has been laid in education sector by establishing IT labs in more than 4000 schools and students of remote and far-flung areas are now benefiting from this technology. Moreover, the introduction of IT in different sectors will not only result in good governance and improvement of efficiency of institutions but will also help eliminate corruption, he said, while addressing a ceremony held in connection with the launch of Microsoft Office 2010 in Pakistan, here on Thursday. Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board Dr Javed Ghani, Vice Chairman Punjab Board of Investment and Trade Pir Saad Ahsa-nuddin, Chairman Strategy and Innovation Unit Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Country Manager Microsoft Pakistan Kamal Ahmad and a large number of IT experts were present on the occasion. Under this partnership, the Microsoft Company, besides setting up an Innovation Center in Lahore and imparting training in government departments, will also help establish e-government which will improve contact between the government and the public as well as save precious time of the people through online facilities. The CM was particularly delighted that Microsoft had chosen Lahore as the venue of the launch of its flagship product, which reflected the growing confidence of investors and multinational companies in the policies of the Punjab government and the measures taken by it to create an enabling environment for investment and business. IT labs have been set up in 4286 schools at a cost of Rs 5billion, and this project has been completed with the cooperation of international companies. 3.2million students from Attock to Rahim Yar Khan are not only benefiting from this technology but also gaining latest information about the fast changing global scenario, he added, while vowing to put Punjab on the global IT. 400 IT academies will be established through TEVTA under the strategic partnership agreement signed with Microsoft . Experts of these academies will not only play an important role in strengthening the IT industry at the local level but will also earn foreign exchange from abroad, he said. Kamal Ahmad paid rich tributes to CM for his sincere and determined efforts for the promotion of information technology. He also highlighted the measures being taken by Microsoft for promoting IT in Pakistan.