Collective effort sought to expand ICT to remote areas of the country

Kathmandu, January 6

Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi has urged the private sector to expand Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to remote parts of the country.

Inaugurating the CAN SofTech in the Capital today, Subedi said that the government, private sector and all other stakeholders of the ICT industry should come together to increase access of information and technology to people living in remote areas.

“ICT in Nepal is basically concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley and some other cities, though it can have a big market in other parts of the country as well,” said Subedi, adding that the private sector will get government support on policy facilitation and implementation to expand ICT.

According to him, expansion of ICT in remote parts of the country will also expand ICT’s market in Nepal, thereby increasing contribution of ICT in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“Contribution of ICT industry to the gross domestic product of Nepal is less than two per cent while developed nations have up to 27 per cent contribution of ICT in GDP. ICT’s contribution to GDP can be increased once its market is expanded in the country,” Subedi added.

Meanwhile, Subedi also said that the government would increase annual budget to promote ICT industry and reduce the gap of digital divide in the country.

Addressing the event, Sarbajit Prasad Mahato, secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) said that the government would put ICT sector under priority and launch programmes and policies targeting the growth of ICT in Nepal.

Addressing the exhibition, Binod Dhakal, president of CAN Federation, said that the domestic ICT industry is not under the priority of the government.

“Software industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and Nepal too has huge potential. However, the government has failed to prioritise the ICT sector,” said Dhakal, urging the government to introduce ICT-friendly policies and programmes and implement them.

Giving his keynote speech, Basanta Ban, member of the ICT Council of the government, said that ICT usage should be increased in social, economic and trade sectors of Nepal to achieve holistic development of ICT industry. Similarly, Ban said that promotion of software industry plays an important role to turn into reality the governments’ vision to establish smart cities.

Organised by the Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) Federation, SofTech 2017 aimed at promoting software industry of Nepal and creating a common platform where stakeholders of ICT industry can come together and discuss prevailing issues in the ICT industry of the country.

The exhibition had showcased software solution products and services of different domestic IT companies. Products and services on information management, banking, printing solution, security solution, wireless solution and computer security, among others were showcased during the event.