Mr. Farooq Ahmed Awan, secretary IT, is rumored to be given the additional charge of Chairman PTA.
If reports, originating from authority and PM house, are to be believed than cabinet division is likely to issue notification of appointment of Mr. Awan as Chairman PTA later today or tomorrow in the day at most.
We are now told that, for some reasons, government is yet to issue the notification. It is learned that proceedings are halted till Monday. Government is likely to decide the name after the weekend.
We have received confirmation from multiple sources that Farooq Awan has been appointed as third member and Chairman of the authority. Cabinet Division has reportedly issued a notification for appointment of Mr. Awan at PTA.
It merits mentioning here that Telecom Act allows government to appoint three members of regulatory authority at most.
According to section 3.2 of Telecom Act:
The Authority shall consist of three members one of whom shall be a professional telecommunication engineer and other shall be a financial expert, to be appointed by the Federal Government for a term of four years and shall be eligible for appointment for a similar term or terms.
With the appointment of third member, Mr. Farooq Awan has become the Chairman of PTA.
New secretary IT is likely to be notified on Monday.
This is a developing story.
Dr. Mohammad Yasin stepped down from Chairmanship of PTA on July 23rd, 2012 after completing his four year service term.
After Dr. Yasin, it appears, federal government apparently decided not to go with Dr. Khawar (member technical) as chairman, or it had appointed Dr. Khawar as chairman the next day of Dr. Yasin’s departure.
Our sources at authority said that appointment of Farooq Awan as Chairman PTA is trace of upcoming and possible changes in managerial hierarchy at PTA, including but not limited to increase in number of authority members.
Now, through Farooq Awan, federal government can implant new members at authority who can be made Chairman of the authority when required.
Sources said that Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar Member (Technical) was the only option for the government for the chairmanship if current (telecom) act was to be followed.
Clause 3.3 of Telecom act says:
The Federal Government shall, from amongst the members appointed under sub-section (2), appoint a member to be the Chairman of the Authority.
It merits mentioning here that PTA is composed of two members and a chairman as regulatory board.
Dr. Khawar Khokhar is currently the member technical, while Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi was member finance at PTA until he was suspended amid an inquiry.
In a related news, Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi today met with Prime Minister, Raja Parvez Ashraf, who reportedly advocated to bring Mr. Ghaznavi back to authority after early completion of inquiry against him.
Post of Chairman PTA is particularly crucial for the government especially when there is a possibility of auction of 3G licenses in current fiscal year, in which Chairman PTA is likely to play a pivotal role during the whole process that would bring over Rs. 75 billion to government’s kitty.
In addition of 3G, chairman PTA’s slot is of key importance for political leadership of the country as he is the one can set ASR (Approved Settlement Rates).