Budget 2019-20: Rs. 7.34 billion allocated for IT and Telecom in Pakistan

Since the start of June 2019, all eyes have been fixed at the current PTI-led government of Pakistan which has finally presented its first-ever budget in the National Assembly. This year, the federal government has proposed Rs. 7.341 billion for IT and Telecom division in budget 2019-20 which is relatively higher than the last year’s Rs 6.535 billion allocated by the previous PML-N government.

In the last few years, the IT industry of Pakistan has shown promising growth and amazing potential especially in the export of IT services by small companies. The increased funds are thus aimed at the 29 ongoing and new development schemes of Information Technology and Telecom sector in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for FY 2019-20.

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According to the budget 2019-20, Out of Rs. 7.34 billion, Rs. 1.466 billion will be earmarked for the 10 ongoing projects while Rs. 5.864 billion will be reserved for 19 new development schemes.

The government will be spending Rs. 600 million for the expansion, upgradation and seamless coverage of 3G and 4G  along KKG while Rs. 474 million will be spent for replacing of GSM network of AJK. For the establishment of technology parks, Rs. 100 million have been sidelined and Rs. 1000 million have been reserved for establishing special Technology Zones across the country.

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Moreover, the government has also proposed Rs 1000 million in budget 2019-20 for blended virtual education to create a knowledge-based economy, Rs 435 million for expansion of broadband services through MSAN technology and up-gradation of IT core and access network in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan and Rs 200 million for expansion of  mobile phone service in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.

The budget 2019-20 has also earmarked Rs. 400 million for the establishment of the digital complex at Peshawar and Rs 247.430 for the establishment of SINO-Pak center for Artificial Intelligences under new schemes. The government is also hoping to collect more than $1 billion in revenue from the telecom licenses of Jazz, Telenor, and Zong.

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