Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haq said on Saturday that technology was changing with every passing day and the government must equip the youth with the latest IT trends.

“The youth are the country’s asset, so steps are being taken to connect them with the digital world. Once the youth are connected with the digital world, it will help them become self-employed as IT is a multi-billion business,” he said.

The minister expressed these while addressing an academic performance recognition ceremony held here at the Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU). “The world is changing fast and we need to introduce our children and students to this changing world through artificial intelligence and digital technology,” the federal minister said.

He further stressed the need to harmonize the youth with new technology. “The federal government, IT industry, and academia need to be on one page in this regard. IT-related courses should be introduced for students so that they can find jobs in other countries.”

He said connectivity is the topmost priority of the government and it is because of broadband facilities that the country can connect to the digital world. “The IT ministry is going to ensure improved connectivity with 4G,” he said, adding that funds amounting to Rs49 billion are being spent for improved connectivity in the country. He said the federal government was serving people across the country without any discrimination or preference to race, color, gender, language, religion, or political affiliations.

“Pakistan’s IT industry is rapidly progressing and our exports are also increasing. The exports of IT have increased to $2.8 billion in 2020-2021 from $1.4 from 2019-2020.” He said that his ministry had set a target of 70 per cent exports growth i.e. $3.5bn for 2022-23. The IT minister said that they had increased the number of IT-related projects and the majority of them would be completed soon.

“Due to better policies announced by the PTI-led government, the number of phone subscribers has registered an increase to 18.90 crore from 16 crore within the last three years,” he informed.

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