There are two main things that are currently causing out growth in ICT to stall. One is the lack of original ideas, so most of the entrepreneurs either copy what is already around internationally or locally (same ideas of online shopping, online bidding) we still have not hit the jackpot with someone creating some thing like instagram or drawsomething and being acquired by one of the big names.
The second issue always lamented by entrepreneurs is lack of any funding sources in Pakistan. Over the years we have seen efforts being made to create funds which would help but what ended happening that most of these funds either did not like any one to fund or had such a lengthy process that people shied away from them.
One of few funding sources in Pakistan is National ICT R & D Fund which has loads of cash sitting around idle, but not a lot of it being utilized in projects of worth. The process to acquire funding can take more than a couple of years (probably a time long enough ti extinguish any flame of entrepreneurship ). I have personally known a lot of people who applied for funding with brilliant ideas, only to be faced with red tape process and sessions and sessions of interviews and presentations. But very very few of those actually got any thing in return for following the process.
If you look at the projects which got funded it shows a number of government funded projects ranging from PKR 6.14 million to PKR 31 million without the project complete submission (while it states the project is completed and submitted) and in fact leading to broken links. One such example is of the project named ‘Agriculture Decision Support System Using Agri Data Warehousing, Data Mining & Web based Online Analytical Processing’ .
For the details of the project the author gives us the link of a website which is trying to sell its domain . The project is surprisingly got PKR 31million in funding and neither the author nor the supervisor has put in the little effort of giving the final submission report. I am sure a small amount of the acquired 30 million could have been used to pay domain registration and hosting fees for the project which would definitely be less than 10,000 rupees per year.
Moreover, the status, cost and number of proposals submitted since 2007 also leave us dumbfounded under the funded proposals heading. Since 1997, proposals worth of PKR 2612.33 million were withdrawn and PKR 1399.33 million have been rejected which is definitely a heavy blow for the economy which is sinking in its debt and highest inflation levels. Whether the right screening of the project proposals at initial levels is to be blamed or the overall authenticity of the whole government investments are a complicated area requiring research on its own
In short, the total lack of accountability of government’s funded projects in the name of country’s R&D and technological development is clearly evident and is obvious enough not to throw dust in the eyes of the viewers who can easily figure out the level of corruption and deception on this level.