'PTA should not be blocking websites every now and then'

The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology directed creating awareness among parents regarding the social media use, saying that it was not for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block sites, the Media Directorate of the Senate Secretariat said in a statement on Monday.

The committee, which met with its chairperson Rubina Khalid in the chair, discussed the issues of public importance raised in the house by Senator Atiq Sheikh and by Munir Ahmed Khan. The issue of ban on social media also came under detailed discussion.

Senator Khalid said that parents should be given responsibilities for their families. “It is not the PTA's job to shut things down,” she added. PTA officials told the committee that they were providing information through advertisements and the SMS.

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Officials of the information technology (IT) ministry informed the committee that they were providing facilities to IT professionals. “We have started training programmes and about 25,000 IT graduates are passing out annually,” said an IT ministry official.

The official said that the ministry was also training freelancers, adding that out of 1.7 million freelancers, 500,000 were making monthly earnings. “We do monitor through a third party,” the official told the committee, adding that the monitor was done online.

The issue of pensions of the employees of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) was also discussed in the meeting. The IT secretary informed the committee that the matter was no more an issue of the subordinate department of a government ministry.

“The PTET [Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust] has its own assets and funds,” the secretary said, adding that the ministry concerned had played its part. Senator Khalid stressed that the ministry could not pass on its responsibility to someone else.

Committee member Senator Rehman Malik said the committee has given recommendation that the PTET has failed to implement the committee's instructions, which was violation of the privilege of the house.

Later, while chairing committee meeting, Engineer Rukhsana Zubair said that the matter was settled by the committee and its report would be presented in the house. The committee also directed for immediate steps for their solution of the problems facing the employees of the Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) and the Telephone and Telegraph (TNT).

The meeting was attended by senators Rehman Malik, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Sana Jamali, Engineer Rukhsana Zubair, Muhammad Khalid Bizenjo and Nusrat Shaheen besides officials of concerned institutions.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune – Technology rss feed, without modifications to the text)