PTA Loses Vice Chairmanship of South Asian Telecommunications Regulators’ Council

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) missed the South Asian Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (SATRC-18) in Kathmandu, Nepal and hence lost on the opportunity of claiming vice chairmanship of the body.

Pakistan was supposed to host the SATRC meeting as well as claim the chairmanship next year, but after failing to attend the meeting this year and becoming the vice chairman, the chances for next year are meager, officials sources revealed.

The 18th meeting of the South Asian Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (SATRC-18) was scheduled from 19 to 21 December 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, organized by Asia-Pacific Tele-community (APT). It will be hosted by Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA).

The SATRC meetings are held annually and attended by the heads of telecommunication regulatory authorities in the South Asia region, senior officials of the ministries and departments, as well as senior officials /representatives of the industry. The SATRC meets annually to discuss key policy and regulatory issues of concern to the SATRC members.

Official sources revealed that PTA failed to get approval from concerned quarters and was told that as there is no Chairman for PTA in place, hence approval could not be granted.

The tenure of former Chairman PTA Ismail Shah ended on November 13, while Tariq Sultan – former Member Finance PTA – completed his four year term on September 26, 2017. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi rejected extension for another tenure to both the officials.

Sources feared further delays in policy related matters in coming days, as currently PTA is being run by a single Member (Enforcement) with the additional charge of chairman. However, sources said that the Member could not take administrative related decisions and runs day to day affairs only.

The SATRC-18 for this year includes the Regulators’ Roundtable, Industry-Regulator dialogue and Industry Session.

At the Regulators’ Roundtable, the heads of the different regulatory authorities will exchange opinions and share experiences on regulatory challenges and discuss the way forward. Regulators will also identify the possible areas of cooperation in South Asia through SATRC.

The Industry-Regulator Dialog will facilitate the exchange of opinions among Industry and Regulators on challenging issues of regulations, ways to overcome the challenges collectively and facilitate the business environment.

The Industry Session will give the industry an opportunity to raise their concerns on the current and future regulatory trends and their expectations from the regulators.