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ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) Friday awarded a contract worth Rs 2.07 billion to the Ufone cellular company to provide high speed mobile broadband services in Kech district of Balochistan. Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (IT&T) Syed Amin ul Haque and Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal witnessed the contract signing ceremony that held here the USF office.

The contract was signed by USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary and Ufone’s Acting CEO & Group Chief Financial Officer Nadeem Khan. IT Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Maj-Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa (retd) were also present on the occasion.

While, Sector Commander South, Brigadier Atif Bin Saeed and senior government officials from Turbat virtually attended the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque said the IT Ministry, through the USF, had awarded another project for the socio-economic betterment of the people of Balochistan, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital Pakistan.

Through the contract, residents of the Kech district would reap the benefits of High Speed Internet in a span of 12-18 months.

“It is our priority to ensure that Balochistan remains at the forefront of technology development as we continue to work towards building a robust Digital Pakistan,” he said.

Amin Ul Haque said the digital connectivity would open unprecedented new possibilities for the marginalized communities of Kech district; enhancing their ability to work and transact online and engage in the digital economy. The ministry through USF is engaged in various development projects worth approximately Rs 7 billion to provide High Speed Mobile Broadband services in districts of Chagai, Noshki, Bolan, Mastung, Panjgur, Gwadar, Ziarat, Jaffarabad and Pishin, he added.

“These projects are expected to be completed within 12 to 18 months from the date of commencement”.

Highlighting the progress of National Highways program, he said the ministry had initiated development projects worth approximately Rs 1.8 billion to provide High Speed Mobile Broadband services to commuters on all National Highways in Balochistan, covering segment of 1,780 km.

“NH 10 and NH 25 is 75 % completed whereas NH 50 and NH 70 are being 50 % completed. Likewise, NH 25 and NH 65 are 25 % completed. All National Highway projects will be completed within the next 6 to 9 months.”

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