Government misses critical SC deadline on PTA Appointments, Causing PKR. 5 Billion per Month Loss

On September 2nd, the government was ordered by the court to appoint the Chairman and two members of PTA within 10 days and ensure 3G auction within 60 days. The government yesterday submitted that the members are appointed by the establishment division, whereas the cabinet division issues an official notification in this regard. This process requires more than 10 days as it is very unlikely for the government to scan the 165 applications and finalise the members in such a short time.

After considering the reservations of the government, the Supreme Court yesterday i.e. 16th September has extended the deadline by 10 days to fill the vacant offices of the chairman and three members of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

According to telecom analyst seriousness is required on the part of the government to complete the process by taking some practical steps. While, the deadline for the members & chairman has been extended the Auction deadline of 3G licenses remain same.  The extension in the selection of the PTA Chairman could possibly result in further delay.

Almost everywhere in the world now people are already using 3G services but Pakistan has still to cross this milestone. The Pakistani government expects to raise much needed revenue of about one billion dollars for the government and drive a new wave of prosperity, as for customers, the biggest gain will be high speed internet with which they will be using voice and data services more conveniently.
As per PTA, Pakistan has more than 120 million mobile phone subscribers and 15 million of whom use internet on their phones. According to a recent study the government is losing almost Rs. 5 billion a month due to delay in the 3G Auction.

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