National Assembly held PTA responsible for 3G delay

National Assembly held PTA responsible for 3G delay

National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology & Telecom held Pakistan Telecom Authority responsible for delay in 3G auction for the third time.

Standing Committee expressed its annoyance over the performance of PTA and said that it had failed to perform its duties as a regulator body in the country. Hiring of consultant by PTA chairman and then cancellation of contract of the said consultant by the chairman again also came under discussion in the parliamentary panel meeting here on Monday.

Chairman Standing Committee Ch Barjees Tahir said that hiring the consultant, paying him Rs 10 million and then cancelling his contract was not an understandable act of the chairman PTA. He said that from the day 1, Standing Committee had warned PTA that 3G auction process was not transparent and still PTA was not cooperating to make it transparent and hold the auction that could benefit the country in billions.

Shafqat Hayat, a member of the committee, said that delaying the auction for the 3rd time would not only be bad for the PTA but for and the country too. He said that in the given circumstances no one would ever come to assist the auction again.

Officials of PTA whereas denied any payment to the consultants. Standing Committee whereas held Chairman PTA Farooq Awan responsible for delay in the auction. Committee suggested that if any amount was paid to the consultants then it should be collected from the account of Chairman PTA.

Standing committee was also annoyed over the role of PTA in elimination of grey trafficking from the country which is yielding into loss of $1 billion per annum. Chairman Ch Barjees Tahir said that PTA is reluctant to take action against influential people. He said that legal department of PTA is not performing well on legal grounds and failed to defend its cases on grey trafficking therefore court issues stay orders on cases of grey trafficking.

Secretary IT Amir Tariq Zaman admitted that PTA initiatives to reduce the grey trafficking are not sufficient and authority can only monitor 13% of the traffic while Anusha Rehman said that people sitting in power corridors were backing the grey trafficking practices in the country and were making it hard to eliminate it.

Barjees Tahir also said that while the authority had been failed in performing its duties, Prime Minister should decide about it. Legislative body during the meeting also expressed its displeasure with officials of Universal Service Fund (USF) because different companies have liabilities of more than 25 billion rupees and USF is awarding contracts to those defaulter companies.

Committee recommended officials of USF to give list of those companies who have been awarded contracts. Legislators said that FBR should also examine the business of USF.

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