Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, chaired the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ignite Policy Committee meeting, where the annual budget for fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) was approved. The budget allocated for USF and Ignite is Rs. 21.242 billion and Rs. 3.206 billion, respectively.
The meeting was attended by Secretary IT Navid Ahmed Shaikh, Additional Secretary Cabinet Division, Additional Secretary Finance, Senior Joint Secretary of MoITT Ali Asghar, and Member Telecom Muhammad Omar Malik. The CEO of USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, briefed the chair about the ongoing projects of USF.
During the meeting, Minister Haque highlighted the challenges faced by telecom companies in importing equipment and upgrading their systems due to limited Letters of Credit (LCs), which has resulted in delays in completing USF’s ongoing projects.
In addition to approving the annual budget for USF, the meeting also approved the annual budget of Rs. 18.036 billion for fiscal year 2023-24 for USF Company.
Minister Haque also presided over the Policy Committee meeting of the Research & Development Fund, where the CEO of Ignite presented an overview of future projects. The meeting approved Ignite’s annual budget of Rs. 3.206 billion for fiscal year 2023-24.
In a separate meeting, the CEOs of Ufone, Jazz, and Telenor, namely Hatem Bamatraf, Aamir Ibrahim, and Irfan Wahab, respectively, called on Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque. The meeting focused on discussing matters related to the telecom sector in detail.
Minister Haque emphasized that resolving the issues of the IT and telecom industry and protecting the rights of cellular users are among his priorities. He expressed his commitment to address these issues through relevant forums, which will lead to positive outcomes for the industry.