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Punjab forms committee to usher in Web 3.0

LAHORE: The Punjab government has constituted a 22-member committee to adopt Web 3 with Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari as convener whereas Punjab Information Technology Minister Dr Arslan Khalid will be co-convener of the committee.

As per the notification, the committee will include Punjab Law Secretary, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Chairman, PASHA Chairman, policy and domain expert Dr Hussain Nadim and information and communication technology (ICT) experts. The other members of the committee include NetSol CEO Salim Ghauri, Systems CEO Asif Pir, Techlogix CEO Salman Akhtar, STEPS CEO Umar Farooq, Information and Technology University Vice Chancellor Dr Sarfraz Khurshid, representatives from State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Punjab, Federal Bureau of Revenue BR, SECP and PITB DG e-Governance Sajid Latif.

Web 3.0 is the newest version of the internet, which will have a strong emphasis on decentralised applications and make extensive use of blockchain-based technologies. It will also make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to help empower more intelligent and adaptive applications. It is just the next evolution of the internet, growing out of Web 2, which is currently in use.

The members of the committee will propose action to explore other areas of Web 3.0, like Metaverse as well as Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), and suggest concrete actions for implementation. Additionally, the committee will also be responsible for suggesting measures to create an enabling environment taking into account the legal, financial and regulatory frameworks of Pakistan. They will also study the global best practices being adopted by different countries on these subjects, including the UK, USA, China, and Japan.

The committee will suggest the implementation R&D regime in the context. It will also study all aspects of crypto-currencies, virtual currencies, NFTs and Metaverse pertaining to their pros and cons; legal, operational and taxation issues; implications, adoption about trading, mining, legal provisions and all other related issues. The Punjab Information Technology Board will provide logistic and secretarial support to the committee.

Commenting on the new initiative, Dr Arslan Khalid said that under Web 3.0, they want to find avenues in a new economy, tech research and development and create a pool of new talent that can be part of the Web 3 ecosystem.

“The committee will engage with relevant global stakeholders and establish their R&D centres and innovation labs in Punjab. In this regard, the committee will give its recommendations and propose specific actions to be taken by the government. It will deliberate in detail by engaging a range of stakeholders from industry, academia and government to arrive at a robust roadmap and concrete action items for the adoption of Web 3.0 ecosystem in the province,” he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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