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Govt will complete work on 16 software technology parks soon: Amin ul Haque

SINDH: Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Amin ul Haque has said that the government will soon complete work on 16 software technology parks across the country to offer state-of-the-art facilities to the technology companies.

While inaugurating the Software Technology Park at Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology, he said the government is encouraging cellular companies to manufacture and assemble mobile phones in the country aimed at bringing down the increased prices of cell phones.

He also witnessed the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding reached between the Pakistan Software Export Board and Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology.

Terming the MoU a major achievement, he said it covered multifaceted cooperation in terms of establishing a software technology park at the university campus, capacity building, online training, developing linkages between academia and the industry besides facilitating the IT startups and freelancers.

He said had previous governments planned the same much earlier, the prices of cell phones would have been low in addition to the creation of more job opportunities in the country.

The minister noted that the country’s IT industry had achieved significant expansion and growth in exports but it remained focused in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore only.

Amin-ul-Haque also informed the audience, “We have to boost 4G penetrations too 50 percent before launching the 5G while 4G internet users now formed 41 percent of the mobile internet users.”

He apprised that 1.4 million new 4G users were being added every month and at the present pace the desired percentage of the fourth generation mobile internet users would be attained by the end of 2021.

The minister said the government was trying to provide 3G and 4G internet services in the areas were currently the same service was not available. He said Rs 21.9 billion had been spent on the expansion of those services so far.

Amin ul Haque said he had announced a Rs 550 million IT project for the Sanghar district soon after assuming charge of the ministry. He expressed the hope that the IT exports would potentially grow to $5 billion by the end of the present government’s tenure in 2023.