Govt Proposed Rs. 5.4 Billion for the IT Sector in Upcoming Budget
For the coming fiscal year, 33 IT and telecommunications programmes costing over Rs. 5.480 billion have been proposed.These projects include 31 existing and two new ones, for which the Pakistani government would give Rs. 4,438.696 million and foreign aid will provide Rs. 1,042 million.
According to the budget paper, Rs. 100 million is proposed for IT professional certification through the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), while Rs. 80 million is planned for Crime Analytics and Smart Policing. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan, Rs. 50 million has been suggested for demand-driven industry, while Rs. 179 million has been earmarked for the building of a data centre to provide cloud-based services (GB).
The government has also set aside Rs. 243 million to create the Sino-Pak Artificial Intelligence Centre. The expansion of internet services in AJK and GB has been envisaged at a cost of Rs 200 million. For extension of cellular services in AJK and GB, as well as phase 3 and high skill boot camp in Islamabad and Karachi, respectively, Rs. 100 million and Rs. 300 million have been suggested.
The nationwide expansion of National Incubation Centres (NICs) across Pakistan and the national freelancing programme are both proposed to cost Rs. 80 million each. The government has also suggested Rs. 20 million for one patient, one ID, and Rs. 102 million for project monitoring and a digital transformation cell.
Allocations have also been recommended for the protection and upgrade of the Pak China OFC project, smart offices, IT industry standards, Technology Park development project, upgrade of existing TDM, transmission network upgrade, and optical fibre cable replacement in GB and AJK.
The establishment of 25 sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), general data protection, regulation, and compliance management system, hybrid power solutions for Special Communication Organization (SCO) remote sites in AJK and GB, ICT Internship programme, president initiative for cyber-efficient Parliament, and raising smart capital through the private trading market at Pakistan Stock Exchange are all examples of previous schemes (PSX).
These projects also include a technology export marketing campaign, a blended virtual education project, cyber security for Pakistan, the establishment of an IT park in Karachi, and the establishment of a national centre for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the President Secretariat.
For the coming fiscal year, two new initiatives have been suggested. Rs. 50 million has been recommended for phase one of the implementation of important telecom data and infrastructure security laws, as well as Rs. 50 million for the expansion of optical transmission networks in AJK and the United Kingdom.