Auction for 3G licences: another case of corruption in the offing -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Auction for 3G licences: another case of corruption in the offing

Yet another case of corruption par excellence appears to be in the offing in the auction of much talked about multi-billion dollar 3G license. It is a mature case where corruption may cross all barriers if Public Procurement Regulatory Rules are ignored in this procurement.

Adviser, Transparency International Pakistan (TI-Pakistan), Syed Adil Gilani in a letter sent to the Prime Minister on December 11 has drawn his attention to the allegation of corruption in the award of illegal consultancy contracts for the auction of 3G license.

He said that reports confirmed TI-Pakistan’s complaint on the collusive practice of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) reported to the Prime Minster nine months ago on March 24, 2012, about the collusive efforts of PTA in hiring of consultants for 3G auction without inviting tenders, and requesting the PM to exempt the hiring from the application of PPRA rules.

It was pointed out that “at the very infancy stage of auctioning of a license, which has all the potential to obtain the highest price in the history of Pakistan, the PTA has moved a controversial proposal seeking exemption in Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules for hiring the internationally reputed consultancy firm to assist and advise it in carrying the auction”. However, on the intervention of TI-P, the Prime Minister did not accord illegal exemption to PTA.

Again on July 12, 2012 Dr Muhammad Yaseen, Chairman, PTA, was questioned by TI-P for PTA’s deliberate failure to implement the rules and regulations, and making unauthorised amendments in the terms and conditions of the licences of same telephone companies, which has caused loss of billions of rupees on account of manipulation resulting in lower collection of APC charges from same companies and increase in grey traffic to 1.5 billion minutes from 400 million minutes in last four years.

Last but not the least, he questioned: “TI-Pakistan fails to understand what rocket science is involved in this auction, for which PTA is bent upon hiring of consultants spending Rs 700 million?” TI-P understands that initially no consultants were required for the auction of 3G licence even by PTA, and it is an after thought, only to delay the auction process.

Copies have been forwarded for the information with request to take action under their mandatory powers to: Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Islamabad, Minister of Finance, GoP, Islamabad, Chairman, NAB, Islamabad, Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad, Managing Director, PPRA, Islamabad, and Chairman PTA, Islamabad.

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