Senate Body Directs Telcos to Form SOPs for Franchises

Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, on Thursday, expressed displeasure over giving sale targets to franchises of telcos and directed to form SOPs for franchises.

The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Shahi Syed while Senator Abdul Rehman Malik, Syed Bhibli Faraz, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Najma Hameed and Muhammad Azam Khan Sawati also attended the meeting. The committee directed mobile network operators not to pressurize franchises to achieve sales targets so that illegal SIM cards could be controlled and to form new sales models to achieve similar numbers.

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rehman, told the committee that commercial operators are engaging private sector, therefore the government and regulators have no right to interfere in the private sector or to change their business models. Legally, the government cannot stop telcos if they set up the kiosks and sell SIMs.

Senator Abdul Rehman Malik and Shibli Faraz suggested the committee to direct Telco’s to make Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for franchises. Only the eligible franchises should be leniently dealt with and their rights should be protected.

Member Enforcement Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Abdul Samad told the committee that Federal Board of Revenue, with the assistance of Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt) and PTA, have developed a software utility portal and all of four Telco’s have uploaded their monthly customer income tax (withholding tax) data.

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He said that surveys are carried out to check call charges without human intervention. The call charges for different packages are charged using NEMO tools by originating and terminating calls for a pre-defined period against each package advertised by CMOs.