PM launches digital drive for online payments, new jobs, to curb corruption

Imran Khan says govt initiative vital for entrepreneurs; IT minister says to focus on digital infrastructure to facilitate tech growth

IT minister says to focus on digital infrastructure to facilitate tech growth

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government, having achieved the economic stability, would now fully focus on digitization to introduce digital payments, curb corruption, and ease out public difficulties besides bringing transparency.

Launching Digital Pakistan initiative in Islamabad, he said that the digitization is vital particularly for the youth for their future employment and entrepreneurs to set up their businesses without any hassle. He said that it would in fact unleash the true potential of Pakistan’s young population that could become strength if they were given the opportunity.

The prime minister said that his government should have started the programme far earlier but during the first year, all of its focus remained on stabilizing the national economy that had been achieved finally. The initiative has been designed for the government and the private sector to work towards a digitally progressive and inclusive Pakistan.

FUTURE EMPLOYMENT: The new vision brings together multiple initiatives that the government has already kicked off, and identifies additional focus areas that the government would initiate in the coming months. The prime minister said that the digitization was vital particularly for the youth for their future employment and the entrepreneurs to set up their businesses without any hassle.

He said that it would in fact unleash the true potential of Pakistan’s youth population that could become strength for the country if they were given the opportunity. Besides opening up the employment opportunities to the women of even far-flung areas, the digitization would also bring e-governance in the country to help eradicate corruption that had taken roots even to the lower level in the society.

MOBILE HANDSETS: Through digitization, he said that the people would be able to carry out many of daily life tasks through their mobile handsets which would bring ease in their lives saving them from long queues outside banks or other government offices. He said that e-governance had been introduced at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital some 19 years ago that had ended the pilferage bringing transparency and smoothness in functioning.

He said that some institutions were resisting the government’s digitization initiative but resolved that the government would accomplish the task without any delay. He said that the government was also striving to promote e-commerce by addressing the allied challenge of the cyber security.

BLOODBATH OF RESHUFFLE: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government, after coming into power, was able to understand the challenges of governance and bringing about changes in its team, and referred to make huge changes in Punjab government what he called the “bloodbath of reshuffle.”

After a policy shift of joining foreign wars against dollars to a peacemaker, Pakistan had become internationally relevant and resolved that the country would play its role to bring unity among Muslim world, he said. The prime minister spoke high of Tania Aidrus and Raza Baqir who took difficult decisions of leaving their lucrative jobs in internationals institutions like Google and IMF just to serve their own country.

GREATER CAUSE: He confidently assured them that their decisions would prove to be a turning point in their lives because challenging and difficult decisions, particularly those for a greater cause took the people to new heights. Contrarily, he said that those seeking easy solutions, could never accept challenges or risks because their decisions were always self-centric.

He said that consequent to efforts by his economic team, the national economy had been stabilized including the rupee that had been under pressure because the previous government had maintained it artificially. However, now the foreign agencies like the World Bank, IMF and Moody’s have also acknowledged the stability of Pakistan’s economy.

Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, State Bank Governor Baqir Raza also attended the event besides Tania Aidrus, an expatriate who recently quit her job as senior executive in Google to lead the digitization initiative.

AI AND 6G TECHNOLOGY: In his address, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Pakistan is at the crossroads of the digitization to either chose it or lose it. He said that there was dire need to review curriculum of IT as out of around 25,000 graduates annually, only five to six thousand could get jobs which manifested the gaps between the education standards and the market needs.

He said that in order to join the race of artificial intelligence and 6G technology, Pakistan would have to focus on building the digital infrastructure to facilitate the technological growth. He also advised the youth to utilize social media tools like Facebook and YouTube for educational purpose too, not mere socializing or chatting.

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