USF Telecentre Program Meeting, Ishaq Dar and Anusha Rehman Participated
Islamabad (Press Release / Wednesday, March 26, 2014) – Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Ishaq Dar, while presiding over a meeting at the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, appreciated the concept and proposed impact of the USF Telecentre Programme which will be established in a network across the country.
Universal Services Fund (USF) Company gave a detailed presentation on the project proposal. It was informed that the telecentres will offer local community with state of art computer equipment and broadband facility. Several e-services will be hosted on the infrastructure to facilitate people of un-served, underserved living in far flung areas.
The Finance Minister was informed that the telecentres will be a shared site that will provides public access to information and communication technologies: A public place where people can access computer, internet that enables them to gather information, create, learn and communicate with others while they develop essential digital skill.
It was further informed that in the first phase, the telecentres will house biometric verification of SIM cards, birth/death registration and computer training to the youth of the nation. In the second phase, it is envisioned that the telecentre project will facilitate e-services including e-health, e-learning, e-commerce, e-agriculture etc.
The Minister for Information Technology, Anusha Rehman said that the project will create local employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and extend broadband to provide distance education and ICT literacy. She added that empowering the people of Pakistan through seamless access to accurate information and reliable services by means of ICT applications and telecom platforms; and establishing a knowledge based economy is the vision and objective of the government.
The Finance Minister appreciated the programme and said that it will eventually lead to promotion of science and technology in the country. He said that in line with the manifesto of the PML-N, every telecentre will provide basic facilities to the people living in rural areas and in addition it will also generate employment opportunities for 20-25 local youth. The Minister directed the IT Ministry to identify stakeholders including service providers and prepare a working paper on the issues which need to be settled. He said that all the provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK should also be taken onboard for developing holistic strategy to incorporate provisions of e-health, e-education and e-banking etc.