Telecom deregulation policy some weeks away: Awais -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Telecom deregulation policy some weeks away: Awais

Islamabad :Information Technology and Telecommunication Minister Awais Leghan has said that dereg­ulation policy of telecom sector will be announced within some weeks.

He said that the policy for mobile phones was expected to be announced early next month. So far, the government was following an ad hoc policy regarding cellular phones, he said.

The minister, who was addressing a press conference at his office on Wednesday, was replying to a question about the restructuring of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).He said that restructuring of the mega unit was at a conceptual stage and various options were being examined. Pros and cons of various options were also being studied. The recommendations would go to the cabinet. The minister said the deregulation policy would be ready after some weeks.

To a question about the policy regarding mobile phones, he said that the policy so far was on ad hoc basis. Under the new policy, the service providers would be under obligation to serve remote areas as well.

While responding to questions about the future of the daily wage workers, who were observing strike for the second day on Wednesday, the minister assured the journalists that a package for all categories of employees was under preparation.

These included regular, and contract employees and daily wage workers. Awais said that the intention was not to remove any worker.He hoped that privatisation would not harm any category,of employees.

Earlier, he spoke about multimillion development projects being undertaken during the course of the year. Amon them is automation of the government ministries. So far only six ministries are on the Intemet.

Another important project is to make the software in Urdu for the benefit of the people who are not literate in English. This would benefit 95 percent of the people.
Linking of police stations for ready reference to criminals and other crimes is also under working.

Another is to have Intemet services for the bar rooms of districts so that the lawyers have access to the judicial records and cases to better assist their clients.

Awais added that Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali would propose to Microsoft Chief Bill Gates to work on Urdu software products for the Pakistanis.

The minister, while briefing on the outcome of the recently held World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, said that the summit adopted a Declaration of Principles.

He added that Pakistan played an important role on key issues of eyber security and ethics, which were included in the declaration.Taking advantage of the right of interpretation, Pakistan presented written statements pertaining to the issues.In case of ethical dimension, Pakistan clearly said that negative propaganda against religion, creating misconceptions about religion, faith or its followers, or portraying any religion or its elements of faith in a manner that was offensive constitutes the misuse of ICT. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and several other Islamic countries highly appreciated Pakistan’s initiative, he added.

Source: Business Recorder
Date:12/18/2003