Pakistan set to initiate laying of 200,000 km optical fiber cable

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ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Information Technology Dr Umar Saif on Saturday said that in order to enhance connectivity Pakistan was set to initiate a project for laying 200,000 kilometers of optical fiber cable.

“The Information Technology (IT) Ministry has exhibited outstanding performance during the tenure of the current government over the past four months, ” the minister said in a statement.

Dr Umar Saif, while giving credit to the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), said the forum had played a significant role in obtaining timely approvals for the IT Ministry s policies and projects.

He said the IT companies were set to benefit from a new facility allowing them to keep 50% of their earnings in dollars in their accounts.

He said a global standard training programme had been initiated for 200,000 IT graduates who had recently completed their studies from various universities.

The minister said the long-standing issue of digital payment gateways for freelancers had been successfully resolved. Starting from February 1, a pilot project would create 10,000 accounts, allowing freelancers to receive their payments directly through them.

Dr Saif said some 10,000 employment centers were being established where the freelancers would enjoy convenient facilities under one roof.

The centers would help increase annual IT exports to $10 billion, besides employing some 100,000 freelancers, he hoped.

The minister ensured that all obstacles regarding the 5G spectrum would be addressed as per the directives of the Action Advisory Committee for it auction in July-August.

He viewed that the implementation of the Right of Way Policy had resolved disputes between various institutions.

With the establishment of the Telecommunication Tribunal, a long-standing demand of the telecom sector had been fulfilled, he added.

To support young entrepreneurs, Dr Saif said, the Pakistan Startup Fund of Rs. 2 billion had been launched.

He said the Research and Development Funds were also being established to facilitate mobile phone manufacturing companies.

The minister said the approval of the Space Policy had opened the satellite internet market for global companies.

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