STAFF REPORT IBD: In a recent development regarding issuance of 3G licences in Pakistan, it was decided at PM House that Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) will immediately advertise for hiring of consultant to expedite the process of 3G licence auction. The process of 3G licence auction has already got delayed considerably due to the unnecessary official procedures.

It was suppose to be the duty of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to advertise and hire the consultant, but in recent developments, the government high-ups are not happy with PTA and assigned this task to MoITT.

MoITT in a briefing to PM told that PTA was directed to appoint experts to evaluate Expression of Interest (EOI) from the consultant, which PTA assured in order to meet the transparency in licence auction. PTA Member Technical assured that after receiving the list from Ministry the Authority would get approval as per the provision of section 5 (2) (R) of Pakistan Telecommunication Re-Organization Act 1996.

The Ministry told that the responsibility to carry out the auction is the sole responsibility of PTA. It was also said that PTA is liable to make licence procedure complete transparent.

Information Memorandum on 3G will also be drafted from scratch, after the input of consultant that is supposed to be hired very soon.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Water and Power, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Advisor on Petroleum, Asim Hussain, Secretaries for IT, Finance, Law and Justice and other government officials.

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