PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to declare five cities or municipalities of the province smart cities in the next five years.

Talking to reporters here about the Information Technology department’s progress on 100 days plan, special assistant to the chief minister Kamran Khan Bangash said the local government minister recently launched a smart cities wing at his department.

“Five cities or municipalities will be declared smart cities,” he said adding that the government has planned to hold a smart cities conference next year.

Mr Bangash said the government was committed to the digital transformation of the province and approved a digital policy for the next five years.

CM special assistant says all offices will become paperless in five years

He said the operation of the government departments would be digitised in the next five years and that all offices would become paperless.

The special assistant said the KP Information Technology Board had shifted its operation to e-office and asked the government to shift four other departments on the same module.

He said the government would also digitise land records.

Mr Bangash said the last PTI government had started automation and lower and higher judiciary in its tenure but the project hit sang.

“We have now asked the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court to lead the project to make it a success,” he said.

The special assistant said the LG department was working on the establishment of the citizen facilitation centre at grassroots level to ensure hassle-free provision of municipal services to the people. He said around 8,000 people would be trained in IT sector during the next five years.

He said the government was in contact with the IT giants, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Oracle, for the launch of their certification courses in the province, while the United Nations Development Programme was extending ‘generous’ help in that respect.

Mr Bangash said under a plan to introduce early age programming, around 16,000 students had been trained.

He said the government was striving to promote economy of the province through digital transformation and was focusing on digital payments, which would help document economy.

He said that provincial government had approached the federal government to enhance people’s digital access in remote areas of the province, which lacked 3G and broadband Internet services.

Mr Bangash said the federal government had promised to use the Universal Service Fund for the purpose.

PLANS OUTLINED: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has outlined plans for 26 departments under the ruling PTI’s 100 days plan.

The plans will be launched after Nov 29 to take all stakeholders on board.

The launch of KP’s 100 days plan is likely to take place in the provincial capital on Dec 14 with Prime Minister Imran Khan possibly being in attendance.

Of the 26 items, 13 were assigned to the province by the centre, while the rest were added by the provincial government to improve its service delivery and performance.

A statement issued here said the themes covered under the 26 agenda items ranged from revolutionising of social services to the strengthening of the federation, revitalisation of economy, transformation of governance, uplifting of the agriculture sector, and conservation of water.

The government has also planned to spend one trillion rupees on development in merged districts, extension of the Sehat Sahulat Programme to their every household, introduction of local government system, and spending of Rs5 billion on the youth employment of the region.

It said the province hoped to get Rs36 billion as the net hydel profit in the current fiscal, while its NHP proceeds were also likely to increase manifolds after the profits were determined in light of the AGN Kazi formula.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2018

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