Digitalisation of the economy is essential to empower women and bring other deprived segments into the mainstream, said President Arif Alvi.

His comments came while addressing 24th Sustainable Development Conference organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.

“Direct disbursement of cash assistance to bank accounts of women under the Ehsaas program will financially empower them,” Alvi said.

He added that banks had introduced diverse schemes for women to establish businesses to enable them to play a constructive role in the society.

The president highlighted that Covid-19 pandemic had promoted online learning which the nation could not have adopted earlier despite the availability of tools. He directed think tanks of Pakistan to identify new trends and exploit them.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation (SAPM) Dr Sania Nishtar said the Covid-19 pandemic has taught the world that health was a national security issue and also shifted people towards digitalisation.

She added that the government had been prioritising digitalisation even before the pandemic had surfaced as it had launched 20 programs under the Ehsaas initiative.

“Pakistan is the first country that is paying higher stipend to girls for their enrolment in schools,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, SDPI Executive Director Abid Qaiyum Suleri appreciated the timely steps taken by the government to contain the pandemic and commodities prices which saved people from food scarcity.

He termed adaptation to online technology essential as information technology had transformed citizens into netizens

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2021.

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