Senate Committee Asks to Launch National Roaming for Ufone in Malakand

The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, on Tuesday, recommended Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to launch national roaming in Malakand division for Ufone.

The committee, which met with Rubina Khalid in the chair, expressed serious concerns over the poor service or no service of Ufone in Malakand division while saying that SIMs are being sold among the people at an average of 3000 per month. However, there is no service of Ufone in the area, which is tantamount to fraud.

The committee directed PTA to investigate the sale of SIMs with no service in the area besides, recommending for national roaming to facilitate general public, especially tourists in the area.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) informed the committee that the Korean side took eight months in approving evaluation report worth $88.383 million Technology Park in Islamabad.

Project Director said that MoITT got approval for the establishment of Technology Park at Islamabad at an estimated cost of $88.383 million with a loan amounting $76.31 million from Economic Development Co-operation Fund (EDCF) loan of EXIM Bank of Korea at 0.1 percent for 40 years with 10 years grace period.

The committee was informed that consultant procurement will be completed by next month after which the project design will be completed in six months while the overall project is expected to be completed in 44 months. The committee expressed serious reservations over the delay in the project while saying that it was approved in 2016, but no work is done so far.

The committee was informed that the Ministry had submitted an evaluation report to the Korean side, but it was delayed on their part due to changes in management and took eight months to approve it. The committee demanded full details with implementation and completion period in the next meeting.

The committee expressed serious concerns over the non-compliance of its recommendations before the Federal Minister for MoITT Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui while saying that 18 meetings were held during the last year, but not a single recommendation was complied with. The Minister assured the committee that all the pending matters would be disposed of soon.