Several information technologies development projects approved

ISLAMABAD (September 04 2003) : Ministerial review committee chaired by Federal Information Technology Minister Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has approved several projects for the uplift of the local Information Technology (IT) industry.

During the meeting, the Minister directed the Pakistan Software Export Board to initiate action on these projects.

One of the projects is to support the local IT companies in participation in International Exhibitions like GITEX, CEBTT, etc.

Another related project is to hold domestic exhibitions in major cities within the country.

“Such events provide an opportunity for the companies to market their products and services and also to form alliances and partnership.

The Minister said that quality was the major differentiation of any product or service.

“The IT industry in Pakistan needs to be recognised as having international quality standards and must follow well-established processes and methodologies,” he said.

He added that in recognition of this fact, the Ministry of Information Technology had initiated a project for supporting Pakistani companies in getting ISO certification.

He said that he had given instructions for this project to be enhanced to certify 125 companies by June next year.

He said the Ministry of IT covers 75 percent of the cost in the preparation as well as the audit of these companies.

“Prior to these efforts by the Ministry of IT, there were not even 10 IT companies with ISO certification,” he said.

Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said that he had also approved another project for supporting local companies in getting CMM Certification.

He explained that CMM certification involves a major expense which most of the local companies cannot afford, he said, adding CMM is also required for various outsourcing contracts in USA.

The Minister said that under the project, the Ministry of IT would not only fund 90 percent of the cost of getting the comparison CMM certified but also help in building capacity within the country with a view to offering CMM Certifications locally.

He said that he had also directed the PSEB to establish libraries and information centres for the benefit of IT companies in Karachi and Peshawar in addition to enhancing the existing facilities in Islamabad and Lahore.

The Minister noted that the current technology parks in Islamabad and Lahore were at full capacity.

“This is a good sign as it indicates that new IT businesses, particularly call centres, are being set up in the country,” he said.

The Minister for IT said that he had also directed PSEB to establish new Technology Parks in these cities.

Under this program, public sector buildings will be identified and converted into technology parks with high-speed bandwidth, video conferencing and other facilities required by the high-tech companies.

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