The Caretaker Federal Minister for IT, Dr. Umar Saif, has said in a conversation with Samaa that by January 2024, people will be able to buy Pakistani-made mobile phones in installments.
Dr. Saif pointed out that Pakistan has the fifth largest population and the seventh largest telecom industry in the world; 33 national companies have made 57 million low-cost mobile phones, of which one crore 20 lakhs have been exported.
Made-in-Pakistan phones will be less expensive and will cost an average of 15 thousand rupees.
He added that having 1.5 million cell phone users in the country is a big deal; and despite the lack of foreign exchange, most mobile phones are imported, asserting that there is no reason why mobile phones cannot be assembled and manufactured within the country.
He questioned that if India can manufacture iPhones, why can’t Pakistan too. According to Dr. Saif, Pakistan’s IT exports are 2.6 billion dollars while India’s is 150 billion dollars because there is a lack of trained manpower since only 120 thousand people are available here.
He asserted there is a need to train students in universities and he aims to upskill two lakh people as well as establish e-employment centres for five lakh freelancers in the next two years.
The caretaker IT minister is also determined to take IT exports to 10 billion dollars.