Ishaq Dar Approves USF Telecenter Projects across Pakistan amid criticism from Industry Professionals & Press

Federal Minister of Finance, Ishaq Dar permitted the approval of USF Telecenter Projects all across Pakistan. In addition to this the Minister also ordered the release of Rs 5 Billion from Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF) for the USF project.  Moreover Rs 1 Billion  will also be given for Research & Development Projects.

The approval was given in a meeting held in Islamabad with IT Minister Ms. Anusha Rehman together with other senior officials of IT Ministry and representatives of USF and Secretary Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood and Advisor Finance Division, Rana Assad Amin. It is important to note that certain industry professionals and section of the press has questioned the legal the ethical authority of the finance minister to approve USF projects that they feel should be the sole prerogative of the USF Board consisting of the members from both government and the private sector. Some of them have also criticized the project itself having lacked any benefit for the consumers.

The Finance Minister was given a detailed presentation on the Telecentre project. The federal Minister was also informed that the basic idea of initiating and creating these centers is to provide access to people living in faraway areas of the country to e-communication and other IT facilities. The Federal Minister was told that 500 centers are planned to be built in a time span of 3 years at a total cost of Rs. 11.5 Billion. The Federal Minister was informed that 417 locations for centers had been surveyed till date and in these 417 sites, 217 sites had been qualified. The Federal Minister appreciated the design and layout of the telecenters which were presented to him during the meeting.

The Finance Minister said, during the budget 2014-15 announcements, the government had resolved to facilitate the public over all regarding IT communication facilities.

Federal Minister also admired the efforts of IT Minister, Ms. Anusha Rehman for promoting IT to new heights across the country and wished her good luck to achieve the goals of Vision 2025. He stated that huge reforms are required in order to bring prosperity to the land of Pakistan.

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