Senate Rejects 53% Cut to Budget for the IT Sector

The Senate has rejected the 53% budget cut for the information technology sector in the country as unreasonable.

The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology urged the government to restore the budget for the sector.

“The huge budget cut for the IT sector is totally unreasonable, especially when the economic growth worldwide depends on progress in this field. We recommend that the IT budget should be restored,” said the chairperson of the committee Senator Rubina Khalid.

The PP Senator received affirmative nods from all the other members of the committee when she termed lack of funding as one of the primary reasons behind the government departments’ failure in the implication of policies.

“The IT Budget should be increased by at least 50%, if not by 100%,” said PPP Senator Rehman Malik.

The committee was convened to review the budget allocations to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

The Senators said that the IT industry requires special attention and should be elevated on par with India.

Briefing the Senate committee, Ministry of IT Secretary Maroof Afzal said that the budget has been halved for the ongoing fiscal year from Rs. 3.046 billion to Rs. 1.5 billion.

He informed the Senate that the ministry was establishing a technology park worth Rs. 9.246 billion with assistance from Korea.

The project has been approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council and will be started soon, he added.

Mr. Afzal also told the committee that the government was laying more than 4,000km of OFC.  He said that the new system would reduce the country’s dependency on the undersea internet cable that is often damaged and disconnects Pakistan from the rest of the world.

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