HYDERABAD - The Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecom Syed Amin-ul-Haque said that the recent rains and the floods have caused huge destruction across the country but the government was taking all possible measures to rehabilitate all the rain hit people.

He said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 6th National Incubation Centre (NIC) established in Hyderabad by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom with the cooperation of IGNITE Pakistan and the PTCL here late Monday night. He assured the flood victims across the country, including Sindh, that the present government will not rest until their complete rehabilitation and reconstruction of their houses.

Syed Amin-ul-Haq said that due to floods, the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MOITT) also faced problems and 1,000 of its towers were submerged in the flood waters, while the optic fiber lines were also affected as mostly these line were on the sides of National Highways and Railway tracks. He said that timely work was carried out by the Ministry after which water was removed from all the tower areas and now only 0.6pc of the towers were under water. He said that during the floods, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave instructions to resolve the connectivity issues in Balochistan and they (IT ministry) restored the service within a few hours.

The federal government had taken all the telecom companies on board and ensured the continuation of call and internet services without balance in the flood affected areas, so that victims could not face any inconvenience in contacting their loved ones, Amin-ul- Haque said.

He said that all the mobile phone companies were given the responsibility of collecting relief funds by the IT Ministry and a 9,999 number was issued through which an appeal was made to donate 10 rupees which would be spent on the flood victims.

Giving details about the National Incubation Center (NIC), the federal minister said that 5 such centers were already working across the country, while this sixth center had been built in Hyderabad, to provide job opportunities for the people of Hyderabad, Latifabad, Qasimabad, Jamshoro, Kotri and other areas of Sindh. He praised the efforts of the Vice Chancellor Sindh University Dr Siddique Kalhoro, CEO IGNITE, Junaid, Project Director NIC Hyderabad Bilal and their team for making it possible for launching of Pakistan’s sixth NIC.

Over 62.5 million rupees will be spent on this center in the next 5 years, the federal minister said and added that building of NIC Hyderabad is the best which equipped with all required facilities. He said that in this center, when our youth will get training and earn in dollars, this will strengthen our country’s economy.

Addressing the youth, Amin-ul- Haque said that smart mobile phones is your factory, by using it you can not only plus your income but multiply it. He said that the Ministry of IT has signed a memorandum of understanding with Karachi University regarding the establishment of Center of Excellence in Gaming and Animation on which work would start soon.

Syed Amin-ul-Haq said that when the start-up started in 2019-20, it had an investment of 75 million US dollars, which has increased to 370 million dollars in a year. This investment would increase to 500 million US dollars by the end of December this year, he hoped.

Talking about connectivity, the federal IT Minister said that 5G connectivity should be introduced in the country, while Rs. 61 billion are being invested for giving 3 and 4 G connectivity to the children of Khairpur, Shikarpur, Rajanpur, Dera Bugti, Naseerabad, Jhal