PTI launches first ever National Digital Policy
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) launched its official Digital Policy in Islamabad earlier today, with a vision to “transform Pakistan into a knowledge economy making IT the top contributor to Pakistan’s exports and job creation”.
Syed Ahmad presented the Policy and stated that a revised version would be finalized and made available before the Elections.
Imran Khan said that PTI would leverage technology to create jobs, increase exports and curb corruption. In the process, it will aim to increase Pakistan’s IT exports to $10 billion over the next 5 years. Principles Behind the Digital Policy
PTI is aiming to transform Pakistan into a knowledge economy by investment in human capital. Asad Umar was vocal about the government playing the role of a facilitator which enables the private sector rather than competes with it.
That’s reflected in the guiding principles behind the Digital Policy, which are listed below.
1. To create an enabling environment instead of running businesses, training programs, and incubation centers 2. Long-term policies instead of shortcuts 3. Invest in human capital for a secure future 4. Focus more on the services sector 5. A shift from the industrial era to knowledge economy: changing mindsets
Establishment of a Centralized Knowledge Economy Authority
The driving force behind PTI’s Digital Policy will be a centralized Knowledge Economy Authority.
The Authority will be headed by a CIO with equivalent powers to a Minister of Pakistan. The organization will possess statutory powers for procurement, policies, and regulations. The governing council – highly qualified and agile in approach – shall include government and industry stakeholders making sure that the Ministries, Provinces, and Departments conform with the National Digital Strategy.
To boost the IT industry of the country, PTI has identified the following areas where the previous governments have failed to deliver: 1. Citizen Services and e-Government
PTI plans to initiate $2 billion digital transformation projects through National Digital Transformation Initiative which will facilitate public-private partnership, reduce corruption, open government data policy, data privacy laws through cybersecurity policies, create industry capacity and provide citizen services. The projects will also help attract international tech giants through centralized purchasing power. 2. Human Capital Development
There will be 50,000 graduate scholarships from government colleges with an aim to produce 100,000 quality graduates per year. 120 new campuses of tier-1 universities will be established,
Mathematics and Science certifications will be introduced for secondary school teachers with salary incentives as well as professional training support programs to develop human capital. 3. Exports and Market Access
Pakistan will be portrayed as a business/tourist-friendly country and the expat community will be given leadership in positioning Pakistan. The embassies will be provided with economic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) while the staff including bureaucrats will be offered training.
There will be an emphasis on market access in bilateral trade talks for green passports. 4. Infrastructure and Connectivity
The 1st year will see the establishment of Special Economic Zones.
5 major tech clusters will be established across Pakistan. World class office spaces of 25 million sq ft, internet adoption, broadband penetration, favorable tax policies, digital literacy programs, and 50,000 seats call center space on flexible turnkey basis are some of the highlights of the new Digital Policy. 5. Innovation Ecosystem and Entrepreneurship
Emphasis will be laid on entrepreneurial culture and innovation ecosystem by organizing e-government hackathons, introducing city as a lab initiatives, tax benefits for startups, investor-friendly policies, future-oriented policies for companies, sales tax rationalization to 5%, incentives to solve local problems, access to government data and tax benefits startups. 6. Policies and Regulations
New nationally aligned digital policies and regulations will be formulated to increase ease of doing business, reducing tax rates, increasing documented economy and tax net,
IP and copyrights courts will be established for the first time.
E-commerce stores and other marketplaces will get favorable policies and a special emphasis will be placed on transforming Pakistan into a cashless society by boosting mobile payments.