KP government launches digital policy

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday launched its Digital Policy for the next five years. The policy specifically stresses over the provision of digital access to the people of newly merged districts of the province.

KP Minister for Finance, Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra and Special Assistant to Chief Minister on IT Kamran Bangash unveiled the policy.

While addressing the gathering the Finance Minister said the new digital policy emphasizes a rapid implementation in the newly merged districts, such as the provision for the provincial share in Information and Communication Technology services from the federal government.

He said that the tribal areas, which are considered the most backward areas of the country, need more attention to bring them at par with other parts of the country.

The minister added that it is a comprehensive policy that is focusing on four areas of access, governance, economy and skills development.

Managing Director KP Information Technology Board Dr Shahbaz Khan, Milanda Good of the World Bank, Ali Naseer of Jazz were also present on this occasion and briefed the participants about the salient features of the Policy.

Besides, increasing public-private partnership for facilitating the province’s digital transformation, the policy stresses on the financial inclusion and equitable digital dividends for women and marginal communities.

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 lamented that sticking to that obsolete system is wastage of both time and resources that hamper service delivery.

Addressing on the occasion 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 within less than hundred days.

“Each and every stakeholder has been taken on board in the formulation of this Policy,” said Bangash. “The Policy is based on the ground realities and provides for achieving realistic goals.”

Bangash 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.

While addressing on the occasion the Country Director World Bank Pakistan Melinda Good appreciated the initiative of the KP government and assured that World Bank will always be there to contribute to its success.