3G licenses auction: NA committee holds PTA responsible for rules’ violation

— File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology on Monday declared the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) responsible for the violation of rules and regulations in the auction of the 3G licenses, Daily Sitara Sindh reported.

A session of the committee, chaired by Barjees Tahir, was held in Islamabad today.

Officials representing the PTA briefed the session on 3G technology.

The Secretary IT told the committee that following the objections of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the PTA had cancelled the contracts awarded to three consultants hired previously.

He informed the committee that the decision to hire 3G consultancies had been made by the PTA chairman.

The members of the committee replied that an assessment be conducted to determine the extent of violation of rules by the PTA in auctioning 3G licenses. They also said that all payments made to any 3G consultants by the PTA would have to be recovered from the authority’s chairman.

Moreover, PTA officials told the committee they did not possess an efficient system to monitor illegal calls.

Barjees Tahir said the PTA had imposed fines worth more than Rs 1.23 billion. However, the authority was able to secure only Rs 33,000 in fines.

He further said that the PTA had remained unsuccessful in preventing illegal calls. Responding to which, PTA officials said a loss of $1 billion was being incurred annually due to the lack of a technology in Pakistan to prevent illegal calls.

The committee also issued orders for paying pensions with increments to the former employees of the Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation Limited (PTCL).

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