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USF approves Rs14b budget to provide IT services in unserved areas

USF approves Rs14b budget to provide IT services in unserved areas

ISLAMABAD: Universal Service Fund (USF) on Tuesday approved its budget of Rs 14 billion to provide facility of broadband and telephony services to the unserved and underserved areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan provinces.

The budget was approved in USF Policy Committee meeting, the management forum for the USF, here on Tuesday.

Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman chaired the meeting in which the annual budget of Universal Service Fund for the financial year 2017-2018 was approved.

It is pertinent to mention that Ministry of Information Technology was well on course to meet the target of covering all villages with 100 population by 2018. The budget also included allocation for other USF programmes including ICTs for girls and also for the promotion and enhancement of demand side program specially e-commerce for MSMEs across Pakistan.

USF authorities also apprised the minister that digitization of public sector girl schools of Islamabad Capital Territory was being pursued rigorously on priority basis and all 226 girls schools will be provided digital labs and Microsoft digital skills training by November 30 of this year positively.

The minister stated that the government attached highest priority to this project and she also directed CEO USF to complete this project within stipulated time period and also complete hiring of 200 teachers on merit.

The meeting was attended by Secretary IT Rizwan Bashir Khan, Member Telecom; Mudassar Hussain and other senior officials from the Ministry of Information Technology, Finance and Cabinet Division. The senior management of Universal Service Fund also attended the meeting.

Govt to spend Rs 580 mln on four mega projects ISLAMABAD: The Federal government has decided to establish four mega projects for social development in the Federal Capital at a cost of Rs 580 million.

According to sources on Tuesday, the government has taken concrete measures by initiating the projects including National Centre for Special Education, National Education Centre, National Institution for Human Rights, and Social Entrepreneurship Centre for the social development in the country.

They said that an amount of Rs 250 million would be spent on the purchase of land and establishment of building of National Education Centre, while the government has allocated Rs 2 million for current year.

A total of Rs 45 million would be utilized for the establishment of National Special Education Centre for deaf children out of which over Rs 25 million were allocated for the year 2017-18.

In addition an Orthopedic Centre Workshop for the disabled children would also be established in National Special Education Centre for Disabled in G-8/4 Islamabad to facilitate the physically challenged children with total cost of Rs 20 million and this amount has already been allocated by the federal government.

National Institute for Human Rights would be established with total cost of around Rs 60 million, while Rs 27 million has been allocated for the purpose during the current year.

A social entrepreneurship would be established in the Ministry of Planning with total cost of Rs 180 million while an amount of Rs 40 million has been allocated for current fiscal year.