The government has released funds amounting to Rs 4.21 billion to execute Information Technology related projects during the first six months of the current fiscal year under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP 2022-23).
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According to official data available with APP, the government has authorized the utilization of development funds amounting to Rs 4,211.21 million out of a total allocation of Rs. 6330.70 million for various ongoing and new projects of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.
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Out of the total authorized/disbursed amount, the total amount spent on the development projects during the corresponding period (July-December) stood at Rs 3,662.30 million.
Moreover, the growth of the industry in the past 10-15 years has been striking. There has been impressive progress in IT-enabled remittances in the past five years. The Economic Survey of Pakistan (2021) suggests that the annual growth of IT-related services reached up to 18.85%. In addition to this, micro-enterprises, independent consultants, and freelancers contributed around $500 million while the annual domestic revenue exceeded $1 billion.
However, the recent political uncertainty and economic crisis have largely affected the industry. Pakistan needs to revive the industry by taking various initiatives such as; microfinancing, entrepreneurship, and business startups. This requires a revolutionary change in business conduct in order to achieve inclusive digitalization. Likewise, the technological shift could be created by developing and increasing the availability of affordable and high-speed internet and expanding the use of digital payments. This would not only help in hassle-free transactions but also minimize the chances of fraud.
Furthermore, reducing barriers to e-commerce and promoting trust in digital transactions could also help grow the IT industry. Lastly, collaboration and cooperation between government and multinational corporations is also an effective way to enhance inclusivity and progress.
Courtesy: APP with additional input by GVS