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PTA auction of 3G spectrum in Pakistan


PTA auction of 3G spectrum inPakistan

Two bold directors defy PM’ (Dec 11). The high-profile future auction of 3G spectrum, expected to fetch between $1-2 billion, has become a serious controversy, after some members of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority questioned the validity and legality of the consultants hired by the PTA at hefty salaries. This hiring was done in violation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organisation Act 1996 as well as the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules 2004. Considering that we now have over 119 million mobile users, the 3G auction comes across as a very lucrative deal and should be done in a transparent manner. Instead of forming a committee to monitor the auction process, the prime minister should have taken notice of the note of dissent of two directors of the PTA and also asked the PTA chairman to explain why consultants had been engaged at such high salaries. Similarly, the ministry of science and technology should have taken notice of the opinion of the two important members.   mukhtar ahmed Karachi   *****   The 3G licenses controversy has taken a new dimension and the ball is ultimately in the prime minister’s court now. The PTA chairman’s claim that he has the power to hire any consultant may be true, but one cannot ignore the aspect that two very important members – member technical and member finance – were kept out of the loop for the very important task of hiring foreign consultants for a project which has very high financial implications. Secondly, why so much haste is being shown now on a decision which should have been taken a long time ago? Amjad Awa Islamabad A number of countries are on their way to acquire 4G technology whereas we, inPakistan, are still at the infancy stage, struggling to conduct the 3G license auction. Transparency International Pakistan has reportedly sent a letter to the prime minister, pointing out that the hiring of three consultants for 3G licenses auction was carried out ignoring the Public Procurement Regulatory rules. It has also been reported that two directors of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority refused to become part of a shady license auction process.   The rulers of this country must realise that the delay in getting 3G cell phones, whether it is due to allegations of corruption or any other administrative reasons, is hampering our economic and technological progress. We can’t expect foreign direct investment without having a sound infrastructure. We are already lagging far behind many countries which acquired 3G technology years ago. Our businesses can’t compete in the world market without high-end data-driven mobile services. We need speedy internet surfing and quick video-streaming so that we catch up with the fast changing world. Ejaz Ahmad Magoon Lahore