DHAKA, Jan 12, 2018 (BSS) - Posts, Telecommunications and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar today said Bangabandhu Satellite-1 was set to be sent into orbit by March 26 to 31 next.
"The satellite awaits launching by March 26 to 31," he told a press conference to review of performance of the ministry coinciding with the completion of the fourth year of the second consecutive term of the incumbent government.
Jabbar said the premier wants the day of the satellite launching to become a memorable one for the sake of the launching itself after the Independence Day celebrations.
ICT Division organised the press meet at Bangladesh Computer Council auditorium while State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak made a power-point presentation on the achievements of the sector in the last four years and highlight its planned initiatives.
"Our leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set December 16, 2021, as deadline for establishing Digital Bangladesh. Our country will observe its golden jubilee of victory on that day," Jabbar said.
He said the premier foresaw Bangladesh to be a member of the developed nations club 2041 which simultaneously meant "she wants to build a knowledge- based society by 2041".
"No leader before Sheikh Hasina had ever expressed his or her commitment to make their country digital. After her declaration, Great Britain made the declaration to build Digital Britain, India made declaration to build Digital India," the minister said.
Bangladesh, he said, until recently used to follow others and now others began to follow it.
"Henry Kissinger of the United States once termed Bangladesh a bottomless bucket, while the President of that same US during his Kenya visit said Kenyans should follow Bangladesh," Jabbar said.
ICT Division Secretary Subir Kishore Choudhury presented the welcome speech on the occasion.
The newly appointed minister expressed his commitment to bring down the price of internet, providing speedier internet facility, turning different organisations like Postal Department, BTCL under his ministry profitable.
Palak in his speech hoped that Bangladesh would produce such people who would lead the global ICT industries in the future.
"The government, as part of its vision-2021 and goal to build Digital Bangladesh, is providing training to youths and making them able to choose their career in ICT sector. We're building 28 software/hi-tech parks across the country and some of those have already come into operations," he said.
The State Minister said the government is bringing about 2,600 union parishads under broadband connectivity. "Apart from building Sheikh Russel Digital Lab, we're building specialised labs in universities and other institutes."
He said the government has introduced the national emergency service - 999 - after reviewing 33 lakh phone calls while Paypal Xoom service has also been introduced in the country to bring money from abroad easily and duty has been withdrawn from 94 ICT products to give the sector a huge boost.
"We're giving 10 percent cash incentives to the export of ICT goods, declared tax holiday till 2024 for IT/ITS companies. We're building international standard Tier-IV National Data Center in Gazipur and it will be completed by March next. We've so far provided training to 631 disabled people and created job for 499 of them," he added.
Noting that the government's effort to expand the ICT sector was admired by international community, Palak said the government has been awarded by many prestigious awards like ASOCIO 2016 Digital Government Award, the Global MobileGov Awards 2017, the ICT Education Award 2017 and the E-Asia 2017 Award.