Consultative Process for Telecom Policy Begins -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Consultative Process for Telecom Policy Begins

ISLAMABAD, Sept 10: The government has initiated a consultative process by involving the stakeholders for minor adjustments in the recently announced telecom deregulation policy, said the information technology minister , Awais Leghari, here on September 10.

“After removal of flaws pointed out by different quarters, the draft policy would be presented to the cabinet for approval,” the minister said while talking to the reporters at an investment conference organized by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) at a local hotel on September 10.

The minister clarified that no major change could be made in the policy. However, the suggestions made so would be added to the policy by bringing minute alterations in the licensing framework and requirements and investment memorandum, he said.

The conference was attended by a large number of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs and stakeholders.

Terming the telecom deregulation policy investor-friendly, the minister said it had been introduced in the long-term interest of the telecom sector and to create a healthy and competitive environment without attempting to overly protect the incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

“I can tell you that this has been a major challenge before us to balance the act and get consensus of key stakeholders in favour of an open policy for telecom sector deregulation,” he informed.

During the conference, the government was also accused of overprotecting PTCL, while the company was criticized for creating hurdles in the success of the deregulation policy to safeguard its monopoly.

Minister for Privatization and Investment Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh called for dismantling monopolies in all the key service sectors. He said that the monopoly in the telecom sector should have gone years ago as Pakistan had been held hostage by the incumbent monopolies.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/11/2003