Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chief says media committee to be set up for 3G auction
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to put in place an integrity pact and an independent monitoring committee comprising of media and civil society representatives to accomplish multi-billion dollar transaction of auctioning Third Generation (3G) technology. “We will complete this transaction within four months period as we have already lost two and a half year. The estimated loss to the economy because of this delay was about Rs20 billion,” Chairman PTA, Farooq Awan, said when The News asked about the auction of 3G licence on Tuesday night. He said that the ministerial committee to look after this transaction would continue to exist but independent monitoring committee will also be established to ensure transparency.
However, the sources said that the regulator of telecom sector was not going to repeat mistake which it committed last year under leadership of former Chairman PTA in which Information Memorandum (IM) for 3G licence was prepared in house and without appointing any qualified consultant that raised many questions about transparency of this deal. “New IM will be prepared by foreign consultant and base price as well as reserve price will be worked out. The auction size and block will also be decided through integrity pact as it will be first ever government transaction with integrity pact and independent monitoring committee comprising of media representatives and civil society with complete access to record,” the chairman PTA further stated.
Earlier, there was wrong sequencing of 3G auction that resulted into creating bottlenecks and ultimately it got delayed. Now with experience of past, the PTA will be in better position to come up with feasible proposal by fulfilling required pre-requisites. If the government decides to go ahead by offering three spectrums it can attract investment to the tune of $1 to $1.5 billion.