IT can help battle poverty: Deuba

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 25:

CAN InfoTech-2005, the country’s largest annual information and communication technology jamboree has kicked off today, showcasing latest developments and innovations in the sector from throughout the globe over the last year.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the 11th edition of IT show-cum-conference at a function held at the Birendra International Convention Centre, today.

Deuba emphasised on the important role of the private sector for the development of ICT in the country. Stressing on the importance of IT, Deuba said, “Development of information technology is more significant in a country like Nepal with its diverse geography, as it serves as a pertinent tool to uplift everyman’s life.”

He also assured the full support of the government to promote the IT industry and to accelerate the pace of development. Organised by Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) with support from a dozen of the government and private organisations, the mega IT event will last till January 30. Highlighting the objectives of the event, CAN president Biplab Man Singh, criticised the government’s inefficiency in brining in pragmatic policies and regulations to boost the IT industry. “The government is not serious about promoting ICT in the country,” he said. Despite repeated promises and assurances, the government is yet to review IT Policy 2002 and introduce the Integrated Action Plan. “The government only pays lip service and does nothing,” said Singh and asked, “Why there is a delay in enacting the Electronic Transaction Act?”

Referring to over 4,000 IT graduates that Nepal produces every year, he demanded to create a venture capital fund to assist these graduates to implement their talents. Singh asked the government to reduce tariff on IT goods and services to zero level, as other SAARC countries do in the region. Rajib Subba, first vice-president of CAN highlighted the objectives of the event as to educate the general public on IT and bring together professionals, businessmen, enthusiasts and others to share and showcase the latest developments and innovations in the sector.

Chandi Raj Dhakal, acting president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and Surendra Bir Malakar, vice president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce urged implementation of the recently formulated cyber law.

Various IT related companies from the country and abroad are participating in the event.

A total of 120 stalls comprising of 84 exhibitors are on display with their products and services. There are seven stalls from abroad including Bangladesh, Singapore and Taiwan.

The ICT educational institutions and IT related companies have announced special schemes with concessions during the fair.