• Approves Special Technology Zones Rules
• Talks to crown prince of Abu Dhabi
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday allowed the Sindh government to extend lockdown restrictions for another week to curb the spread of coronavirus in the province.
“Provinces are independent to take their own decisions regarding Covid-19 and Sindh can extend lockdown restrictions for another week if deems appropriate,” the prime minister said while chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
A source told Dawn that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had asked the prime minister that the provincial government wanted to extend lockdown restrictions for another week.
The source quoted the prime minister as saying: “Provinces are independent to take their own decision keeping in view Covid situations.”
The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the government’s performance and intensity of disease in its prevailing third wave. “I am quite satisfied that due to sagacious decisions and strategies of NCOC, we have managed to curb the disease to a large extent,” he added.
PM Khan said the government wanted to reopen all businesses as the third wave of Covid-19 was over. “We are monitoring the situation closely and will soon reopen all businesses,” he added.
He reiterated the need for strict use of mask by everyone who moved outside.
Besides, Prime Minister Khan chaired the second Board of Governors meeting of the Special Technology Zones Authority and approved Special Technology Zones Rules.
The meeting was briefed on the progress made by the authority during past four months towards making the body an effective and vibrant organisation to promote transfer of technology, research and development, attracting foreign direct investment, job creation and boosting IT exports and import substitution.
Prime Minister Khan was apprised of the progress on the establishment of Islamabad Special Technology Zone. The meeting was informed that leading IT companies, including Huawei, Rapidev and Samsung, had shown keen interest in availing business opportunities available in the Special Technology Zone.
Other zones under consideration include Lahore Knowledge Park, TEVTA Skills Park Lahore, TPL Technology Park Karachi, NED Technology Park Karachi and KP Digital City, Haripur.
The meeting was also briefed on the plans for development of Special Technology Zones in rural sectors of the country, Technical & Vocational Training Institutes / STZA Learning Academy, professional trainings to underprivileged Youth in the field of IT, ITeS & Agri-Tech and human capital development and job creation.
The prime minister appreciated the progress being made by the STZA and reiterated that promotion of technology in the country was the foremost priority of the present government.
The Prime Minister directed the STZA chairman to ensure expeditious completion of Islamabad Special Technology Zone.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Khan held a telephone conversation with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The two leaders reaffirmed the close fraternal relations between the two states and discussed ways to further cement and diversify bilateral ties.
Mr Khan underscored the importance of responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a political solution.
Both the leaders welcomed efforts to enhance collaboration in Covid-19 vaccine production and in the field of Information Technology.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2021