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MoiTT launch Pakistan’s First Right of Way Policy The Policy Will Encourage Access, Digital Connectivity & Ensuring Ease-of- Doing Business. Amin Ul Haque

MoiTT launch Pakistan’s First Right of Way Policy The Policy Will Encourage Access, Digital Connectivity & Ensuring Ease-of- Doing Business. Amin Ul Haque

 

Islamabad, By ABID SIDDIQUE CHAUDHRY:

Pakistan’s First Right of Way Policy is a milestone towards “Digital Pakistan” that aims to promote the modern telecommunication services, resolve issues regarding establishment of telecommunication systems and introduction of fast track processes for the provision of Right of Way through One Window Operation. This was stated by Federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication Syed Amin-ul-Haque while addressing as Chief Guest at launching Ceremony of RoW Policy here on Wednesday.

The Ceremony was attended by Ms Rubina Khalid Chairperson Senate Committee for IT & Telecom, Mr. Ali Khan Jadoon Chairman NA Standing Committee for IT & Telecom, Secretary IT, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Chairman PTA Major General ® Amir Azeem Bajwa, DG, SCO, and Officials from IT & Telecom Ministry, CEOs of Telecom Operators, dignitaries from different sectors and stakeholders.

Speaking on the occasion Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Amin-ul-Haque said that Pakistan offers an open and deregulated market with a licensing regime that is supportive for establishing businesses in the Country focusing on Ease of doing business.
“The Government of Pakistan strives to improve its citizens’ quality of life and economic well-being by ensuring availability of accessible, affordable, reliable, universal and high quality ICT services,” He added.

Syed Amin-ul Haque said that due to the investor’s friendly policies of the Government of Pakistan, there is a significant presence of multinational companies operating in Technology & Telecom Sector of Pakistan. Telecom sector has made significant contributions for economic growth of the country and has contributed over Rs. 278.5 Billion, to the National Exchequer during the last year, which is indeed commendable. “Today we have 176 million mobile & smartphones connections with more than 83% tele-density”, said IT Minister.

He said that the need for high proliferation of mobile broadband services in the country and its impact on overall GDP and productivity was highlighted during the current COVID-19 pandemic. He said today, it is promising to see that with 93 million subscribers of broadband services, the growth of Digital Financial Services and other e/m services are being led by the Telecom Sector.

“Pakistan has a highly robust Public Private Partnership Mechanism Whereby Digital Divide is being bridged through the Telecom Sector’s contribution of 1.5 % of Annual Gross Revenue in the Universal Service Fund & 0.5% being contributed towards the Research & Development Fund leading towards Incubations and start-ups eco systems”, said Minister.

IT Minister also stated that the government is heavily investing in the enhancement of digital infrastructure in underserved areas nationwide, which has led to equitable sharing of opportunities and resources, paving the way for accelerated economic growth. At this point, it’s important to mention that MoiTT through USF has already starts dozens of Projects estimating about Rs. 14 Billion PKR for the proliferation of Digital Infrastructure and Services in unserved and underserved areas of the country in last 8 months.

He said that while access to Telecommunication Services is a perquisite to Digitalization, however, Right of Way has remained a major impediment towards the deployment of infrastructure since the introduction Pakistan Telecom Re-Organization Act 1996.
“I am glad that after extensive efforts of my team especially the tremendous efforts and contribution of our Legal and Telecom Wings towards the formulation and approval of Right of Way Policy.”, said Syed Amin-ul-Haque.

Minister IT said that, we are working for additional spectrum availability for 3G and 4G network expansion, better quality and coverage of services, rationalizing taxation of ICT sector, increasing 4G smartphone penetration in the country and launch of 5G services in the country.
Moreover, we have uploaded the drafts of National Broadband Policy 2021 and Cyber Security Policy 2021 for stakeholders’ consultation.

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