ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 31st Jan, 2017 ) : Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman Tuesday said the government was aggressively perusing to ensure requisite environment to promote mobile apps to reach underserved across the country. Addressing "Pakistan Mobile App Awards 2016" ceremony organized by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) she said development of telecom sector was among top priorities and the sector has witnessed exponential growth in different areas.
Pakistan she said has emerged as one of the leading markets in telecommunications with over 140 million mobile phone users touching a 77% penetration rate out of the total population. The minister also expressed satisfication on telecom policy terming it a landmark achievement to provide a level-playing field that will further boost the sector's growth. "We are also working to provide communication services in underserved areas and the key element of this approach is to make telecommunication services affordable and within the reach of the common man" she said.
USF projects have also been launched at a cost of Rs 20 billion in this regard, she added. She also appreciated Chairman PTA for providing an immensely beneficial platform to young mobile application developers to promote innovation, advancements and accessibility in the technology. Anusha said, Mobile application award would go a long way in developing a strong relationship between the academia, industry and the relevant government organizations and would turn out to be exemplary for the rest of the sectors of our economy.
Minister said,"We are in the process of establishing Technology Parks in big cities, established a National Incubator Centre in Islamabad and adopted provisions of digital services through mobile apps in upcoming National IT Policy 2016-17 . Anusha also highlighted steps and initiatives for 3g and 4g technologies, opening a whole new era of innovative mobile services and apps in the country. Pakistan's IT industry has been booming over the last decade with a 41% growth in I.
T exports during 2014-15, it has a global ranking in top 5 countries for freelancing. The Government of Pakistan has provided a package of incentives to both foreign and local investors for growth and development of the ICT industry. These incentives include 100% repatriation of profits allowed to foreign investors,100% ownership of equity allowed to investing foreign IT/ITeS companies, Seven year tax holiday for venture capital funds, accelerated depreciation of 25% for plant, machinery, and equipment. Ministry of IT is implementing e-Governance system "e-Office Suite" in the Federal ministries/divisions for efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and good governance and for the provision of less paper environment. The said e-Governnce system is also accessible via smart phones and tablets via intranet.