Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom has finally issued the long awaited IT Policy of Pakistan and has released it in the name of “Digital Pakistan Policy 2017”.
MoIT worked on the policy for several years, consulted all sorts of stakeholders and worked on almost every aspect to issue the final policy that’s available below for the download.
To adequately address and improve the international rankings in governance, entrepreneurship, knowledge capital, accessibility, demand stimulation and ICT skills, the IT policy focuses on four broad areas for implementing the policy imperatives.
- Sectoral Digitzation
- Cross-Sector Collaboration
- IT Sector Sustainability
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
MoIT said that Digital Pakistan Policy will serve as the foundation pillar for the construction of a holistic Digital Ecosystem in the country with advanced concepts and components for the rapid delivery of next generation digital services, applications and content.
Highlight of Pakistan’s IT Industry
As per Digital Pakistan Policy, here are some of the main highlights of Pakistan’s IT Industry:
- Pakistan was ranked at 4th position in 2015 for freelancers in the world
- IT Exports grew 70% during past three years
- Pakistan’s IT exports stood at $2.4 billion in 2016
- Freelancing revenues stood at $100 million in 2016
- Revenues from domestic market reached $500 million in 2016
- 60% of Pakistan’s 200 million population are between 15-29 years in age
- There are over 300,000 English-speaking IT professionals in the country
- There are 14 Software Technology Parks in Pakistan, covering an area of one million square feet
Challenges Identified by IT Policy
- Reliable and quality internet access for everyone
- Gap between industry and academia
- Weak enforcement of judicial system for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection, consumer rights and arbitration procedures
- Lack of awareness in masses of the full potential of ICTs as an enabler of sustainable development
- Lack of technology Parks around the country especially in major metropolitan areas
- Lack of R&D in ICT sector
- Pakistan’s low ICT rankings on world indices
- Brand name and perception issues
- Holistic Digital System
- Promote the use of ICT in education
- Youth and Women empowerment
- Promote Innovation in IT Sector
- Increase software exports, IT remittances & Domestic Market
- ICT standing of Pakistan
- Reduction in Digital Divide
- Promoting E-Governance
- Increase foreign and domestic investment
- Establishment of IT Zones
- Promotion of Entrepreneurship
- No Citizen (even persons with disbalities) to be left behind
- Promotion of E-commerce
Policy minutely suggests areas for legislation and need for enhancement of systems, ranging from HR development to research and innovation in IT, to help meet the goals while overcoming the challenges.
How Digital Pakistan Policy will Help?
Government policies are manifestos that are considered as a starting point for legislation, rules and SOPs that are developed to achieve goals and targets.
With this policy in place, Pakistan has a direction now — specifically for IT sector — to help overcome challenges while boosting the sector for the benefit of everyone.
Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) said that it will develop an ‘Action Plan’ along with relevant ministries and departments detailing the time frame and outputs of the IT Policy.
MoITT said that it play the role of an enabler and facilitator, providing necessary guidance where required while other federal ministries, divisions and departments will take the lead role for the implementation of policy strategy falling within their domain.
MoIT also outlined the departments and ministers that will responsible for achieving the goals set in the policy.
You can go ahead and download the entire Digital Pakistan Policy 2017 by clicking this link (PDF File – 7.86 MBs).