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Staff Correspondent
As part of implementation of its election pledges, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has started working to provide the rural people with modern amenities similar to those in urban areas.
In this process, all the villages in the country at first will be introduced to the digital system.
“In this regard, work on making digital device is going on in full swing. Besides, initiatives have been taken to prepare 900 digital services. Of them, 200 digital services have already been readied,” said a highly placed source in the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at a function at Ghorashal in Narsigndi district said the work on mega project ‘Turning Villages into Towns’ has begun.
“As part it, the government has already taken various programmes including establishment of housings, hospitals and big and medium industries. Besides, an industry university will also be established in order to produce skilled manpower,” he said.
Also, minister for post, telecommunication and information technology Mustafa Jabbar said the government initially identified 900 services directly related to common people which will be tried first to ensure in digital means.
“We will try to ensure these services on mobile phones. Out of the number, 200 services have already been digitalised and these will be cent per cent user-compatible only after slight reforms,” he said.
“There are 9 crore mobile phone users across the country of which 30 per cent is smart phone users. If smart phone using rate rises, 3G and 4G services will be popular and the people will be able to enjoy all digital services from anywhere,” the minister added.
On the other hand, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam recently said in the Jatiya Sangsad that the government, as part with the move, will decentralise the financial and administrative authorities up to local government bodies.
“Cooperatives system in rural areas would be rejuvenated to generate self-employments for youths,” he said.
With about sixty five percent population residing in the country’s rural areas and lacking urban facilities prompted the present government to go for the multidimensional plan, he added.
Besides, the government, as per its plan, will spread light of development everywhere and illuminate every house of the country within next five years. Like urban dwellers, people living in remote villages across the country will get all facilities, officials of the LGRD and Cooperatives ministry said.
All villages will be connected to upazila and district headquarters through paved roads where all modern amenities, including education, safe drinking water, upgraded sewerage system, sound entertainment, and sporting infrastructures will be ensured, they said.
Mills and factories will be built at upazila level areas for generating employment where information technology will be available for all, they added.
Focusing on a multidimensional plan to turn villages into towns to enable rural people get urban facilities and create income-generating opportunities for youths has underpinned the notion of tasking planners, architects and engineers with developing a growth strategy for new towns.
Sources said the government facilities like job application form, General Diary with police station, and passport application will be ensured in digital format so that the country people can avail these services while staying at houses or from nearest digital service points.
Sources added that all post offices of the country will be digitalised and used as the local service delivery points so that the non-smart phone users can avail the government’s digital services easily.
Besides, the government may consider whether the Sheikh Rasel Digital Lab situated at many rural areas can be used as the service delivery points, they said.
Officials concerned said the A2I under Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department will digitalise the selected 900 government services and the work is now underway.
The government has also a plan to develop a mobile application where all the governmental digital services will be available, they said.