ISLAMABAD ( PRESS RELEASE )
Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui chaired 68th Board of Directors meeting of Universal Service Fund Company here on Wednesday. Chairman PTA Maj Gen (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa was also present in the meeting. The Board approved award of contracts to Telenor and PMCL (Jazz) worth PKR 680 Million in total for Kurram and Sanghar Lots. PMCL (Jazz) is being awarded the contract of Kurram Lot while Telenor is being awarded the contract of Sanghar Lot under Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NG-BSD) Programme. This is part of the inclusive approach of the Government and to strengthen the pillar of connectivity under Digital Pakistan. During the meeting Chairman USF Board and Secretary IT was apprised about the progress of USF projects. The Hi-speed Broadband services in Kurram Lot will benefit an unserved population of approximately 400,000 thereby covering 200 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 2,900 sq. km. Kurram Lot encompasses Frontier Region Kurram, Lower Kurram and Upper Kurram tehsils. Similarly, an unserved population of approximately 1.4 million will gain advantage from Hi-speed Broadband services in Sanghar Lot. The Lot consists of Sanghar and Umerkot districts with an approximate unserved area of 12,000 sq. km and 500 unserved mauzas. The Chairman USF Board and Secretary IT, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui emphasized on connecting the people of Pakistan who did not have access to latest ICT facilities. He also said these projects will bring the people of Kurram and Sanghar at par with the wider society and helpful in solving the problems of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment. Furthermore, the Federal Secretary welcomed Prime Minister’s most recent expression of support for the continued and ongoing work of Digital Pakistan. He stressed the importance of the Ministry of IT and Telecom remaining closely engaged to support and encourage implementation of the vision. In addition to this, he also acknowledged other board members’ valuable contribution to make advancements in implementation of USF projects. The Board greatly appreciated Chairman USF Board and Secretary IT for providing guidance and wisdom to accomplish USF mission. Other board members comprising Shabahat Ali Shah, Executive Director, NITB; Ifran Wahab, CEO-Telenor Cluster Head for Emerging Asia and Nominee of Mobile Cellular Operators; Imran Akhtar Shah, VP for Government Sales, Super Net Pvt Ltd and Nominee of Data Licensees; Rashid Khan, CEO PTCL and Nominee of Fixed Line Operators; Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman, Consumer Association of Pakistan and Nominee of Consumer Group and management of USF Co. also attended the meeting.