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ISLAMABAD: A Steering Committee of concerned stakeholders will be constituted for the governance of the digital information infrastructure initiative to deal with the potential cyber threat.

Sources said that the digital information infrastructure initiative aims to provide requisite technical capabilities to proactively, identify potential cyber threats on the national critical information infrastructure besides blocking of cyber security incidents/breaches in real-time.

The Prime Minister’s Office was informed by the Ministry of ITT about the implementation modalities of the project. The ministry was directed to consult with all the stakeholders. Subsequently, relevant stakeholders (Finance MoITT, PTA, and relevant LEA) held sessions to firm up the implementation mechanism of the project.

They added that the finance minister also chaired meetings in this regard and it was agreed that the MoITT will act as the coordinating ministry for the initiative while PTA and the relevant LEA will be the implementing agency.

The meeting decided that a Steering Committee of concerned stakeholders would also be constituted for the governance of the initiative. The meeting also explored various options of funds and the Finance Division intimated that since the initiative was not budgeted in the current financial year, therefore, in the current fiscal year.

The PTA informed that the revenue receipts collected from the industry are deposited in the FCF. The MoITT apprised that there was no availability of USF Fund with MoITT as a bulk of these funds have been in the federal consolidated fund (FCF) by the federal government since 2013 while the remaining amount has already been budgeted for various projects.

This was also discussed that the “Research and Development Fund” may have some provision for the initiative through bridge financing, which can then be recouped by the Finance Division in the later, part of the current fiscal year.

The case of bridge financing from the R&D Fund to the tune of Rs5 billion for the subject was placed before the Policy Committee meeting of the R&D Fund chaired by the Federal Minister for IT&T.

And it was recommended that a one-time bridge financing of Rs5 billion would be made available from the R&D Fund for the mentioned initiative, to be recouped by the Finance Division in quarter four (Q4) of ongoing fiscal year, subject to approval by the ECC Federal Cabinet.

The ECC approved last Friday the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication’s proposal to release Rs5 billion as bridge finance from the R&D Fund for the Digital Information Infrastructure project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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