By: Mukhtar Ahmed
This is with reference to your lead news story ‘Two bold directors defy PM’ (Dec 11). The high-profile future auction of 3G spectrum, expected to fetch between $1-2 billion, has become a serious controversy, after some members of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority questioned the validity and legality of the consultants hired by the PTA at hefty salaries. This hiring was done in violation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organisation Act 1996 as well as the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules 2004.
Considering that we now have over 119 million mobile users, the 3G auction comes across as a very lucrative deal and should be done in a transparent manner. Instead of forming a committee to monitor the auction process, the prime minister should have taken notice of the note of dissent of two directors of the PTA and also asked the PTA chairman to explain why consultants had been engaged at such high salaries. Similarly, the ministry of science and technology should have taken notice of the opinion of the two important members.