Sunday, April 18, 2004

Five IT projects approved for Balochistan, NWFP

KARACHI: Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Federal Minister for IT and Telecom has approved five projects for Balochistan and NWFP to expand the country’s IT base and use it as a tool to ensure quick and efficient delivery of public services.

The approval was given at a ministerial review meeting chaired by the minister on Saturday, said a ministry statement.

Four out the five projects approved are meant for the province of Balochistan while one project would be executed in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Final approval for these projects would be granted by the Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) of the ministry to be chaired by the IT Secretary, Khalid Saeed.

During the meeting, the minister recommended setting up of two computer laboratories at the Staff Training Institute (STI) of the Establishment Department of NWFP.

The meeting was told that the STI of NWFP is the only institute in the province allowed to train in-service government employees - particularly, the ministerial staff and low level officers - in office procedures and management skills.

The STI - since its establishment in 1996-97 - has trained 4,549 public servants, including 806 officials who have been imparted basic computer training.

"Government servants should make full use of IT in their day-to-day activities," the statement quoted Leghari as saying.

"For this reason, it is imperative that the training academies include a component of IT so that the government servants can be proficient in the use of computer and use IT in their core functions," he added.

The minister also cleared in concept a project for strengthening the IT department of the Balochistan government. Under the project, the IT ministry would provide state-of-the-art IT equipment to the department to enable it to carry out its functions efficiently.

The meeting recommended setting up of the Balochistan e-government network to link up government offices in the Civil Secretariat. The meeting stressed the need for setting up a data centre for the provincial government so that maximum benefit can be derived from networking.

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