Dar Vows Digitalization To Increase Access To Financial Services

Dar vows digitalization to increase access to financial services

ISLAMABAD, JAN 2 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 02nd Jan, 2017 ) : Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Monday said the government was determined to promote digitalization all across the country for increasing outreach and access of financial services to people for sustainable development.

The minister was speaking at the signing ceremony between Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ministry of Information Technology here for laying optic fiber at Awaran and Lasbela areas of Balochistan, contract of which had been provided to Ufone.

He said the government was working for technical and financial inclusion to provide better services to the people all across the country. He said it was due to effective policies of the government that economy was turned around within a short period of two and a half years while special focus was put on energy projects to end darkness by prevailing upon the long legacy of loadshedding.

He said due to the prudent policies, the country's economy moved from negative to stable and then to positive ranking. The minister said the national exchequer earned as many as Rs160 billion through six transparent auctions of telecom spectrums, adding the earning from the spectrum was expected to reach Rs200 billion.

He said earlier, only Rs50 billion were estimated from the auction of the telecommunication spectrum, however with diligence and transparency mechanism, there had been multi-fold increase in the earnings.

Senator Dar reiterated government's resolve to provide internet and mobile access across the country, adding, even the remote areas would also be covered in the network to promote digitalization.

He said the villages having even population of just 100 people would also be covered under the network. Although it was not financially viable, but providing these services and facilities to the common people was the duty of the government, he added.

The finance minister said the government had been focusing to build infrastructure so attention was on developing telecommunication, highways and railways to ensure proper connectivity. He said for the sake of better connectivity, the government kick started Multan-Sukkhar project despite the fact that it was not financially viable.

He said the dream of being among 18 biggest economies by 2050 could be materialized in a half time as had been done in case of macro economic stability, which was targeted in five years but achieved in just two and half years.

He said the merger of all stock exchanges of Pakistan into pakistan stock exchange (psx) on January 11, 2016 was bearing fruits as it had been declared 5th fastest performing exchange now. Senator Dar said due to the untiring efforts of the government, the loadshedding had been curtailed to three hours in cities and four hours in rural areas.

Earlier, when this government assumed the power in 2013, the power outages of 14 hours in cities and 17 hours were recorded in rural areas. "The darkness would be completely vanished by 2018," he remarked. Earlier, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman gave a detailed presentation on over all performance of telecommunication sector.