13 telecom companies default by Rs40 billion -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

13 telecom companies default by Rs40 billion

Tahir Khalil

ISLAMABAD: A list of 13 telecom and mobile companies defaulting by Rs40 billion has been presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The PAC while expressing concern over the accumulation of huge defaulting amount asked the government to take urgent steps for recovery of the said amount from the defaulting companies.

The Committee was of the view that there would be no need to levy taxes on the poor people if Rs40 billion were deposited in the national exchequer. The PAC’s implementation and surveillance committee, which met here on Thursday with Yasmeen Rehman in the chair, forwarded the case to the main PAC with a suggestion to formulate a special PAC for recovery of the said amount.

Chairman PTA told the meeting that the number of subscribers of mobile phones in the country had exceeded the figure of one hundred million. He said Rs21 billion were outstanding against the Instaphone alone. PTA chairman Dr Yasin said Wapda, Pakistan Railways, Special Communication Organisation, Sui Northern Gas Company, and the state-run TV channel and several other government institutions were PTA’s defaulters. A sum of Rs500 million is due to be received from government institutions. The audit reveals 363 cases relating to telecom and telephone companies that are pending with courts. In the pending cases, Rs15 billion are to be received from 1,173 mobile telephone operators. A sum of Rs40 billion is to be received from 13 telecom and telephone companies including Dancom, Multinet and Dancard.

Member of the Committee Haider Abbas Rizvi said recently three ordinances had been issued to recover Rs51 billion. “There was a huge hue and cry over the ordinances while the PTA has to recover Rs40 billion. If this huge amount is received, burden on shoulders of the people would be removed,” he added.

The PTA chairman said a campaign had been launched to collect outstanding sums from telecom and mobile phone companies by selling their assets and properties. A sum of Rs12 billion has been recovered in six months. The chairman said Rs56 million from Mobilink, Rs40 million from Telenor, and as much amount had been recovered from Warid. He said a meeting held under Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in the chair had decided that strict measures would be taken to recover outstanding amounts from telecom and mobile phone companies.

The attorney general said he would get cases disposed of by pursuing them forcefully in the courts. He said it has been decided to restore the licence of Instaphone, which was cancelled earlier, for recovery of Rs21 billion. The assets of Instaphone have been frozen in Pakistan and its sale has been banned.

The PTA chairman told PAC that 12.5 million SIMs issued by the cell phone companies have been blocked due to wrong use. He said the government has decided that no SIM could be issued now without the verification of Nadra. He said 2.8 SIMs were blocked because these were not verified by Nadra. According to the law, he said, one person can utilise 10 SIMs of a cell phone company.

The PAC also discussed in detail the harmful effects of cell phone companies towers in populated areas on human health due to emission of waves. The Committee directed the PTA to do legislation in this regard. PAC member Haider Abbas Rizvi said according to a research the residents of houses situated near the cell phone towers suffer from cancer in five years time. He urged the PTA to run an awareness campaign in this regard. The meeting was also attended by Hamid Yar Hiraj, Mian Riaz Husain Pirzada and Asia Nasir.
Source: The News
Date:3/25/2011