Engagements With Etisalat Likely to Yield Positive Results Soon: IT Minister

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that a breakthrough is expected in the dispute with Etisalat with regards to $800 million outstanding dues on account of privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

The minister told the Senate’s Standing committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication that recent engagements with Etisalat were very positive and likely to yield positive results soon.

The committee met with Rubina Khalid in the chair.

Managing Director Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET) gave a briefing regarding non-payment of increase in pension to the pensioners of PTCL by PTET, as announced by the government from time to time.


Pakistan and Etisalat Resume Talks for Pending Payment of $800 Million for PTCL

The Committee was informed that as per the latest decision of the Supreme Court on the petition of 343 retired PTCL employees, payments of arrears amounting to PKR 175 Million were made to the employees, who were not getting pension increase as per the policy of the government.

A compliance report was also submitted to the Court on 3rd March 2018, the committee was informed.

The Committee was told that the pension liability of PTET was PKR 114 billion, fund size was PKR109 billion, Annual pension payment was PKR 8.3 million and the annual income of fund was PKR 7.1 billion. The Committee was further informed that the cash implication of granting the pension to the pensioners as per policy would be Rs 39.1 billion.

Senator Rubina Khalid called for measures to alleviate the sufferings of the pensioners. She observed that her head lowered in shame to see the plight of these people.


Etisalat and Govt’s $800 Million Fight Might Come to an End Soon

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that he was committed to resolving the issue as soon as possible to lessen the plight of pensioners. He assured the Committee that he will leave no stone unturned to address the issue and requested time so that he can come back with a solution.

The Committee decided that this matter will be taken up in the meeting scheduled to be held on 2nd January 2019.

The committee also took notice of the alleged loss of Rs 62 billion to the national exchequer on account of non-payment of taxes on the use of 3G/4G services in AJK&GB. The Ministry informed that AJK&GB is not under its ambit.

The committee sought complete details from the Ministry in this regard.

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