Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took another lead among the provinces of Pakistan to launch its Digital Policy for the next five years. The comprehensive policy focuses over four areas of Access, Governance, Economy and Skills.
KP Minister Finance Taimur Saleem Jhagra was the Chief Guest.
The Policy specifically stresses over provision of digital access to the people of newly merged districts. Some of the aspects of the policy are overarching and cut across the areas of financial inclusion and equitable digital dividends for women and marginal communities.
It also focuses on increased public private partnership for facilitating the province’s digital transformation. The policy emphasizes rapid implementation in the newly merged districts i.e. the built of defunct FATA and provision for the provincial share in ICT services from the Federal Government.
Addressing on occasion the Taimur Saleem Jhagra regretted that internet was introduced in the province as back as 1995 but the whole work of the Government organizations is still conducted through the old age papers and files. He regretted that sticking to that obsolete system is a wastage of both time and resources and also hamper’s service delivery. On the other hand he pointed out that almost all Government functionaries are utilizing their private email addresses if ever they digitally do any public communication. This practice, he pointed out not only mixes private and public affairs but also creates security risks. However the Finance Minister vowed to transform the Province and make a visible difference.
Special assistant to Chief Minister on IT Kamran Bangash said that though the digital policy was not part of the 100 days initiative of the PTI program but in view of the need of the hour it has been prepared with-in less than hundred days. He said that each and every stack holders has been taken on board in the formulation of this Policy. He said that the Policy is based on the ground realities and provides for achieving realistic goals. However he said that the Provincial Government is always open to any suggestion for inclusion in the said policy and would rather appreciate any proposal from everybody both for its improvement and achieving it targets in the larger interest of the people of the Province. He said that the newly merged districts of the Province are far behind from the other parts of the Country in digital infrastructure while on the other hand the whole Province is endowed with great potential of youth that’s why the Policy provides for optimum utilization of this resource.
Country Director World Bank Pakistan Milenda Good appreciated the initiative of the KP Government and assured that World Bank will always be there to contribute to its success.