ITT ministry Request Rs61.3bn to run new schemes

The Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom- ITT Ministry requested Finance Ministry to release the PKR 61.3 billion funds of Universal Service Funds (USF) to run new schemes that may come to halt if charges are not released.

Ministry of Finance has borrowed Rs 67 billion of USF in 2013-14 to clear the debt. Out of the amount borrowed, Rs. 5.8 billion were returned to USF in 2016. Whereas, the remaining amount of USF reminded stuck for the last soo many years and was not returned to USF and the Ministry of IT even after several reminders.

Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecom told that the ministry has written six letters to the Ministry of Finance requesting to release the funds of Rs 61.3 billion.

“We have given the option to the Ministry of Finance to return the funds in the shape of reasonable installments” 

He told that in past they have launched 25 new projects worth 35 billion to expand the telecom sector of Pakistan and to provide the best services to underserved areas. He also revealed that the government is making great efforts towards the launch of 5G by June 2023 in large cities in Pakistan. Now that other countries are all set to embrace 6G, the delay in the payment might be a hinder in accomplishing this as well.

Other than this, the ITT Ministry also requested an additional grant of Rs790 million for the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), a five percent cash award for the IT sector, and a special award of one percent of total IT exports for the PSEB.

Amin Ul Haque termed the year 2022 a successful year for IT and Telecom and revealed IT exports stood at $2.39 billion in the outgoing year’s first 11 months as compared to $2.19 billion in 2021. He said that he has high hopes for the year 2023, which he believed would be a success for IT and Telecom sector in terms of growth in exports,  5G auction, and speedy completion of connectivity-related projects in the country. However, this all is possible after the USF releases the due amount in time.

Also Read: USF Awards 10 Contracts Worth Rs21bn for Remote Areas Connectivity

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Fizza Atique

Fizza Atique is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and culture. She likes photography, VR, electronic music, coffee, and baking.

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