IT is top priority: Finance Minister Pun


Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun Photo:RSS

Lalitpur, June 15: Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun has said government had accorded a top priority to policy stability and infrastructural progress for the development and expansion of information technology (IT).

During a 'National AI Conference, 2081' organized by the Digital Media Foundation here today, Minister Pun shared that government had brought an ambitious plan through the new budget in order to make a stride in IT.

"Government announced a decade of investment in IT, so this sector is given a huge importance. There is a potential of 1.5 million new jobs and export of some Rs 30 billion in 10 years in this area," he reminded, assuring that government would not change tax policy for five years. 

Every province will have an IT park while Kathmandu Valley alone will have 10 such facilities. Those running business there would not be charged for three years, according to him.

Moreover, the Minister viewed though the artificial intelligence (AI) is regarded as a grave challenge to human civilization, it could also be taken as a new stage of industrial revolution. "Human being is panicked over AI. It is challenging whether this technology will be for the welfare of human or not," he said, adding, "Technology is however crucial to human convenience and progress."

He warned that if Nepal does not adopt such modern IT including AI, we would evidently lag behind. 

Also speaking in the programme, an AI expert Dr Bibek Poudel said that IT and AI would play an important role in implementation of government's policy. He explained, "The AI could be used in infrastructure construction, agriculture, service delivery, health and education for significant results. Economy and employment generation are other areas required AI use."

Similarly, President of the Digital Media's Foundation, Prabesh Subedi, however complained that IT development was weak in Nepal. Atmosphere for international competition on IT is present need, he added.

The AI-powered speech welcomed the participants and shed light on the objectives of the programme. The AI platform- ChatGPT- welcomed the Finance Minister as well as other guests in the event. 

Mass communication's scholar Dr Bhanubhakta Acharya viewed that the use of AI could enhance human capacity. 

Likewise, Shiva Gaunle, former President of Federation of Nepalese Journalists, saw possibilities of AI usage in journalism such as fact checking. (RSS)

How did you feel after reading this news?