The Board of Directors (BoD) of Universal Service Fund (USF) on Friday approved two projects of Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NG-BSD) with an estimated cost of over Rs 360 million.
Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui chaired 66th Board of Directors (BoD) meeting of Universal Service Fund (USF) at Universal Service Fund Office on Friday.
USF Approves Two Projects of Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development
The Chairperson, Board of Directors, USF and the Secretary IT & Telecom; Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui commenced the meeting by paying tributes to martyrs and ghazis in commemoration of Defence day and also expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
The Board of Directors in the meeting approved the contract signing of the project ‘NG-BSD Rahimyar Khan Lot’ which encompasses Khanpur, Liaquat Pur, Rahim Yar Khan and Sadiqabad tehsils with an estimated cost of Rs198 million. The project benefits a total unserved population of approximately 1.2 million covering 741 unserved mauzas and an approximate unserved area of 8,591 Sq. km.
The Board also approved the contract signing of the project ‘NG-BSD Bahawalnagar Lot’ which encompasses Bahawalnagar, Chishtian, Fort Abbas, Haroonabad & Minchianabad tehsils with an estimated cost of Rs 166 million. The project benefits a total unserved population of approximately 0.9 million covering 505 unserved mauzas and an approximate unserved area of 6,127 Sq. km.
The Secretary IT, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui laid emphasis upon the importance of utilizing technology to help the country achieve broader national aims such as improved health and education outcomes, and equal access to opportunities for citizens nationwide.
He also added that these projects will greatly empower the people living in South Punjab who were unfortunately deprived of all these facilities earlier. Furthermore, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui also appreciated USF’s vision to bridge the connectivity and socio-economic development gap between urban and rural communities.
The Board members also discussed key priorities over the upcoming year in line with the federal government, focusing on the ICT enabling environment, capacity building and infrastructure development.
The Board extended special gratitude to the Secretary IT for his support to achieve all the objectives and targets of USF.
Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, Chairman PTA; Shabahat Ali Shah, Executive Director, NITB; Irfan Wahab, CEO-Telenor Cluster Head for Emerging Asia and Nominee of Mobile Cellular Operators; Imran Akhtar Shah, VP for Government Sales, SuperNet Pvt Ltd and Nominee of Data Licensees; Rashid Khan, CEO PTCL and Nominee of Fixed Line Operators; Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman, Consumer Association of Pakistan and Nominee of Consumer Group and management of USF Co. attended the meeting.