Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the body responsible for regulating multi-billion dollar telecom industry, has become entirely dysfunctional due to non-appointment of members and chairman.
Authority, which exhausted all the funds it was allocated for FY 2011-12, is now unable to get its budget approved for FY 2012-13 and hence it is feared that employees might not get their salaries next month.
As per PTA laws, authority budget can get approved only by the authority members and the chairman.
Reportedly, DG finance of PTA is making all the efforts to get the budget approved, for which all the details have been communicated to Cabinet Division, however several regulatory requirements are hindering the approvals and might result into non-payment of salaries of staff starting next month.
It is no secret that authority is not functioning on various fronts that include industry regulation, enforcement, etc. due to absence of members and the chairman.
Staff is not paid the bills, daily expense, medical facilities and several other allowances and payments. It merits mentioning here that all kind of bills at PTA are cleared only after the approvals from member finance.
Besides inside inactivity, PTA is all-together unable to regulate industry issues.
It maybe recalled that slot for the Chairman of PTA was vacated when Mr. Farooq Awan was dismissed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on 15 January 2013 on conflicts of interests and violation of Telecom Act, 1996. While Member Finance,Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi completed his term on 24 February whereas Member Technical, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar got retired from his position on March 16th 2013.
Since then Government of Pakistan is trying to fill the position, for which it has advertised the jobs thrice. However all the advertisements got challenged in the court and were eventually dismissed as government kept altering the job requirements to specifically tailor the ads in order to accommodate favourites and blue eyed of the Government.
A timeline of all the happenings and events regarding the appointment of PTA members can be seen here.
Market high-ups term this incompetence and corruption of government. They urge that responsible individuals, who have caused this delay in appointing PTA members and Chairman, should be put on trial and must be fined/jailed.