Science and Technology

Tech giants urge govt for declaring digital emergency in Pakistan

digital emergency

Tech giants are asking the government to declare a digital emergency in Pakistan in order to bring long-term transformation.  

The tech giant, while demanding to declare a “Digital Emergency” in Pakistan, urged the government to go for long-term transformation instead of moving ahead with “Ban-Astan”. According to them, it would splash down many taxation layers, also will provide equal opportunities to women, and will protect the data to ensure a paradigm shift in Pakistan.  

This discussion was conducted on Monday in the meeting, titled “Connecting People: COVID-19 lessons for digital policy”, organized in Islamabad. Different stakeholders of the digital industry at Tabadlab’s policy were present.  

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“We are not moving forward rather lagging behind on digital transformation agenda as the country might be known as “Ban-Astan” but we need to open up in order to reap the real benefits. There is the potential of $45 billion for financial digital inclusion but there is a need for long-term policy perspective.” 

They added, “Instead of strangulating the golden eggs, the telecom sector must allow contributing for bringing value addition into the economy” 

They also said that as coronavirus had been a hurdle in boosting the digital transformation of the country, now is the utmost need for strategic reforms. Also, the government should change its mindset to sustainably capitalize on the digital potential of Pakistan.  

The discussion on digital emergency in Pakistan was carried among different stakeholders, including Aamir Ibrahim (CEO, Jazz), Irfan Wahab (CEO, Telenor), Jehan Ara (CEO, The Nest I/O), Naureen Hayat (Co-founder Tez Financial Services), and representing the government, Amer Hashmi (chairperson of the Special Technology Zones Authority). The roundtable was hosted by Mosharraf Zaidi, a senior fellow at Tabadlab.  

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Amer Hashmi, chairperson, Special Technology Zones Authority said, “The state, as per our Constitution, has to be the leader in this digital transformation. It has the financial resources, the land allocation, the people and access to global markets”  

Meanwhile, Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim added, “As long as we continue to think that telecom companies are rich and we should milk them for taxes, we’re never going to think about the future. This is the inherent disconnect between the three key stakeholders: the investors or operators, the governments, and the end-users, who want the best service for free”. 

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