3G auction process: Committee formed to hire consultant -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

3G auction process: Committee formed to hire consultant

ISLAMABAD: The 3G Auction Supervisory Committee (ASC) here on Friday decided to form Inter-Ministerial Group comprising Ministry of Information Technology (IT), Law Ministry, Ministry of Finance and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to evaluate the process for hiring consultant to ensure transparency in the process.

The ASC directed the IT Ministry and PTA to seek Expression of Interest (EoI) within a week. Sources maintained that auction of 3G is expected to be completed within six months once the consultant is hired. It is likely that consultant of international repute will be hired in two months.
A day earlier National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT, on recommendations of Sub-Committee, nullified the already work done on 3G ASC headed by the finance minister, and had decided to hire the services of international consultant for maintaining transparency in this deal.

Official sources informed that the committee, which is being headed by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh met here on Friday, has directed the Ministry of IT and PTA to seek EoI within a week.
Now it will not be the responsibility of a single ministry or authority to be blamed for delay or transparency in the auction process, sources added.

The committee directed that the process should be re-initiated with the objective of maximising revenue, efficiency and competitiveness in the best national interest. The finance minister directed the concerned authorities to expedite the process for hiring consultant as well as for 3G auction process to receive valuable foreign exchange earnings.

Sources further revealed that in view of the appointment of an international consultant to oversee 3G auction as directed by the ASC, the entire process already initiated in this regard stands redundant. The international consultant, once appointed, would determine and review the auction process from the very start.

After failure to generate Rs 75 billion from auction of 3G licence during the last fiscal year, the government has budgeted Rs 79 billion from the auction in the current fiscal year. According to the budget 2012-13 documents, government had estimated profit of Rs 75 billion from PTA in the year 2011-12 under the head of non-tax revenue income from property and enterprise. staff report

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