ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman Friday said government is planning to replicate Information and Communications Technology(ICT) for girls programme in all provinces of the country to expand knowledge based economy.

While addressing the ‘Taking Stock and Moving Forward’ conference organized by ministry of IT in collaboration with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Ignite National Technology Fund and Universal Service Fund (USF) minister said, “we are endeavored to provide our woman and girls greater access to education, economic resources, skill development and employment opportunities”.

Minister said, Ministry of IT has started projects for Baluchistan worth Rs 26 billion to provide the 3G service to the people of province to connect the unconnected.

In the history of IT of Pakistan this to biggest investment, that is for Balochistan, which aim to target hundreds of villages to connect with 3G service, she added.

Anusha said, the project would cover Awaran, Jhal Jao and Mashkai tehsils/sub-tehsils of Awaran district and Bela, Lakhra, Liari, Uthal, Dureji, Hub, Sonmiani and Kanraj of Lasbel district, he added.

She said, due to the provision of 3G services in Baluchistan, other services like careem would be started in Baluchistan which is a great achievement of Ministry of Information Technology.

Ministry has taken Balochistan as a priority to provide telecom services and these services will include the provision of both voice and data facilities under 3G licenses.

Anusha Rehman described the Digi Skills program as an important part of Information Technology initiative of the government. She said the program would create online employment opportunities to enable youth to earn 200 to 300 dollars per month.

She said with the help of this program, youth from across the country will provide services across the globe.

She said, The telecom sector is the most important one for speedy development particularly for rural areas. 1.5% of telecom licensed companies contribute to the country’s revenue through the USF.

Among the telecom operators of Pakistan, Ufone was able to win the most from the 12 projects.

Ufone has been awarded projects worth Rs. 14.2 billion in various cities of the province which includes Sibi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chagai, Awaran, Kharan-Washuk and Dera Bugti districts.

Government is making all out efforts to introduce 5G technology in Pakistan by 2020 to bring it at par with Developed economies in term of technology advancements.

Naveed Ahmed, Chairman PTA.Dr. Daniel Ritz, President PTCL.Henry Wang, CEO China Mobile Pakistan Zong).Mr. Rashid Khan, CEO PTML (Ufone). Yusuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite, Ministry officials also attended the event.