The government of Pakistan has given a deadline of mid June 2016 to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for conducing auction of the remaining spectrum, as it needs Rs 65 billion revenue for meeting budget deficit for ongoing fiscal year, official sources revealed.
PTA has reportedly informed the government that InterConnect Communication; the UK-based consultant for spectrum auction has recommended holding the auction process next year. It was further detailed that now a sub-committee of experts is engaged in conducting techno-economic review to reach final decision regarding the auction.
However the Finance Ministry is sticking to its guns and is reportedly pressing the Authority for conducting auction in the current financial year.
According to sources Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has chaired a meeting to review current status and progress of the next spectrum auction. Minister of State for IT, Anusha Rahman Khan and Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah briefed the meeting on the progress regarding the upcoming spectrum auction. The meeting noted the progress made on implementation framework being developed by Ministry of IT and PTA.
The Finance Minister directed to ensure complete transparency while concluding spectrum auction processes in the current financial year at latest by mid June.
According to sources, the IT Ministry did a follow up meeting on Tuesday where PTA officials briefed the participants on different aspects of the auction process.
According to sources, officials are engaged in finalizing different stages and timelines which include advertisement, Information of Memorandum (IM) etc. In light of these developments, IT ministry is drafting policy directives and would issue details once the process get green signal from PTA.
Finance Minister is going to chair another meeting on spectrum auction on Thursday, where PTA and IT ministry would give briefing on the process.
Fearing poor market response, the Auction Advisory Committee decided not to give a go-ahead for the auction of remaining Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) Spectrum Auction and decided to form sub-committee of experts for conducting techno-economic review to reach final decision regarding the auction.