STAFF REPORT IBD: The government has decided to determine a fresh base price for the auction of 3G spectrum licences and constitute an independent oversight committee to allay the concerns about increased transparency.

The new base price will be determined by a consultant of international repute that will be hired soon, a source said.

Earlier, the PTA had set the base price at $210 million for the 3G licence with bid earnest money of $31.5 million without hiring a consultant. By this account, the total base price of three licences stood at $630 million while the government expected to fetch a maximum $900 million to $1 billion.

However, IT experts and parliamentary panels on IT termed the value too low, arguing that the auction could earn at least $2 to $3 billion keeping in view the countrys population.

According to the sources, the government has decided to form an oversight committee that will work as a watchdog to monitor the consultant and PTA to ensure transparency. The committee will comprise one member each from the media, civil society and Transparency International Pakistan.

However, it is not clear whether its members will be allowed to sit in meetings of the Auction Supervisory Committee (ASC), constituted to ensure the transparency.

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