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Considering the global economic context 17 programs of the current financial year were canceled by the ICT Division

In view of the global economic situation, ICT Division organized a press briefing on different events and programs issues in the financial year 2022-23 of ICT Division. The state minister for the ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP briefed the media in this online press briefing on Thursday, November 17, 2022. The Senior Secretary of ICT Division Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA and others were also present online at that time.

In this Press Briefing, the state minister Mr. Palak said that Bangladesh is progressing technologically. The ICT Division has undertaken different activities to achieve the Smart Bangladesh Vision by 2041. Bangladesh is also facing an economic challenge like the rest of the world during the Corona period. At the same time, the Ukraine-Russia war caused an economic crisis around the world. As a result, different countries are facing various economic challenges including rising commodity prices in different countries around the world. In such a situation, Bangladesh also adopted new strategies in the management of its state with the advice of the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In light of this, every ministry of the country started making changes in their own management strategy.

He also said that the ICT Division organizes and participates in different National and International programs and events. The 2021-22 financial year also includes different arrangements. But in the context of the global situation and in the light of the special strategy of state management, the various activities of the division have brought about some changes in the organization of regular campaigns, events or programs with considerable cost reduction.

The state minister highlighted the importance of the noteworthy events among the flagship events of the ICT Division. He said, Digital World 2022, Digital Devices and Innovation Expo, BPO Summit, Blockchain Olympiad Bangladesh, National High School Programming Contest, 16th International Children’s Film Festival, World Congress on IT (WCIT), Bangladesh-India Startup Exchange, Japan IT Week, Channel i Digital Bangladesh Media Awards, Roadshow Dubai/London Branding, International Expo (Japan, India, UK, America, Europe on ICT), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on Bangladesh, Tech Carnival, Victory Day Vehicle Branding, BUET CSE fest and ICT Jamboree (Bangladesh Scout) events have already invited EoIs and OTMs for some of the mentioned events. Events have been canceled this year due to the current global economic situation. However, considering the national day, it is planned to organize “Digital Bangladesh Day” on a limited scale.

It is to be noted that on 15th November 2022, either by mistake or purposefully, a news article was published in a daily newspaper Prothomalo titled “ICT Department Seeks 75 Crores for Programs in Current Fiscal Year” which came to the notice of ICT Division authority. The press briefing is organized as the news media feel the need to explain the entire matter as the title and the description inside the news, i.e. the mentioned information may be misrepresented to the readers or the public or cause confusion.

The state minister Mr. Palak also said that the total budget for the mentioned programs was BDT 75 crores. As a result of cancellation of 17 programs in the interest of the country and the interest of the people, a decision was taken to refund about BDT 40 crore from the said budget. It is specially noted that if the ICPC World Finals Dhaka was not organized, it would have been possible to refund about 30 crores of the said event. But the decision to organize ICPC was finalized in 2017, as a result of which Bangladesh is responsible to the whole world, the ICT Division organized the international program known as World Cup of Programming to keep the honor of Bangladesh intact. Keeping in view the current global recession, the ICT Division is trying to reduce overall expenditure.

Finally, the state minister for the ICT Division Mr. Palak answered different questions of the media persons participating in the press conference.