ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) Policy Committee approved 30 projects — the most in the fund’s history — for FY22, with a total budget of more than Rs18 billion for the country’s IT and telecom infrastructure.
The gathering was informed that the USF has seen a 100 percent growth in the number of projects under the current administration. In FY19, just six projects were approved, followed by 12 projects in FY20, and 25 projects in FY21.
ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) Policy Committee authorised 30 projects for FY22, the highest in the fund’s history, totaling over Rs18 billion for the country’s IT and telecom infrastructure.
Under the present administration, the USF has experienced a 100 percent increase in the number of projects, according to the gathering. Only six projects were approved in FY19, with 12 projects approved in FY20 and 25 projects approved in FY21.
According to USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, the project in Kohistan has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions and rough routes, while another project in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas has been delayed. However, these initiatives account for only 5% of the total, and 95% of the projects are on track, according to him.
The Federal Secretary of State for Information Technology, Dr. Sohail Rajput, as well as other officers, were present at the meeting.
USF is a Ministry of Information Technology subsidiary that aspires to spread internet and telecom services to remote areas of the country where telecom firms and internet service providers do not operate since such locations are not commercially viable.
The fund consists of 1.5pc of adjusted revenues of the telecom operators and various contracts for the development of IT and telecom infrastructures are awarded through auction and the amount is paid from the fund.