Tue. Jul 16th, 2019

Gilgit-Baltistan’s economic growth hindered by lack of I.T infrastructure


Sajid Mir

Economic growth affects the life standards of people, helping their upward mobility. The quality of life of a people can only be increased if there are economic opportunities available. During the last two decades, Information Technology has played a pivotal role in developing economies, and improving quality of living for tens of millions of people across the globe.

The days of keeping IT isolated in a dark corner of an organization, or a country, are gone. Today, IT is an increasingly vital business partner with a direct impact on productivity. Emerging nations like China and USA are in the peak phases of Digitalization Transformation.

Gilgit Baltistan despite of its substantial strategic importance is entirely deprived of IT benefits. At Federal and Provincial level there is no concrete policy or agenda to infuse major IT benefits into micro and macro economy of Gilgit Baltistan.

Gilgit Baltistan is the only province of the country where approximately 16% of the total population is directly dependent on Government jobs. Private and corporate sector have no significant presence. Unfortunately, there is no policy at provincial and federal level to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise development. Poor internet infrastructure is one of key constraints.

A proactive provincial IT policy is much needed to engage the potential youth in IT sector. Third Party Skill development programs at school and college level would pave a way to make youth skillful in small and medium level IT business like, free lancing, web designing, web development and graphic designing. This approach will help students to make small earnings through utilization of school and college computer labs as well as their own personal computing systems.

To cater this issue, Provincial Government may establish an Information Technology Incubator and can offer interest free loans at easy terms and conditions to IT professionals, who have entrepreneurship aptitude. Initially provincial government may engage young IT entrepreneur’s in small and medium level IT projects designed for Government Organizations. This approach will certainly minimize the chances of less success ratio. Further to this, young IT entrepreneurs will get a confidence of government shelter at the beginning of their business.

Micro level incomes from IT industry will definitely contribute a tangible change in the macro-economic growth of Gilgit Baltistan.

The contributor is an IT professional and entrepreneur. He can be reached at Email: sajidmirmti@gmail.com

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