Anusha Rehman Addresses Industry Concerns Regarding Un-verified SIMs

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Minister for State for Information Technology addresses the concerns raised by Cellular Industry Regarding ‘Un-verified SIMs’ in Islamabad

The Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) are cognizant of the security situation in the country and have been and are more than willing to work with the government on it.

In this regard they are actively working with government in deployment of biometric SIM verification mechanism across the country.

This was discussed during a recent meeting of CMOs with the Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan where representatives of Ministry of Interior, FIA and PTA were also present.

The meeting was also briefed by CMOs of their major and transformational contribution in economic development of Pakistan. Mobile telecommunication is the largest tax collecting and paying sector. The total contribution of the telecom sector to national exchequer for financial year 2011-12 was Rs. 133 billion.

This is in addition to the billions paid as other fees and levies to the federal and provincial governments and their concerned authorities.

Furthermore, it was added that the CMOs are making a significant contribution towards the overall economy of the country by making over USD 10 billion overall Investment made till date.

Moreover, the industry has also created a total of around 1.4M direct and indirect jobs in the country.

Besides its socio-economic contribution, the cellular industry has also always been at the forefront in terms of cooperation with the government and security agencies in national security matters by investing in that area as per the government and law enforcement agencies requirements the meeting was informed.

The CMOs also lauded the role of Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications Ms. Anusha Rehman for addressing key industry issues in a timely manner and for facilitating the meeting at a short notice today.

The CMOs also expressed some concerns over recent adverse statements appearing in the press. The Minister of State reiterated the stance of the government to continue providing investment friendly environment and restore the confidence of the investors in the ICT sector, without making any compromise on national security.

The meeting was briefed by the PTA Chairman Dr. Ismail Shah on the status of pending unverified SIMs in line with SoP prescribed by PTA for re-verification of SIMs. He informed that the process is in final stage and will be completed by 30th October 2013.

It merits mentioning here that government and courts recently pressed the cellular companies for illegal SIMs. Peshawar High Court even issued bail-able arrest warrants of CEOs of telecom companies.