The government is planning to raise $700 million for the National Space Program (NSP) by limiting foreign satellite services.
The National Command Authority (NCA), headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has already approved the NSP. After his approval, the federal cabinet has also accorded the policy guidelines, which has the potential to raise $600-700 million by 2030.
Other countries in Asia like Bangladesh, India, and China have already restricted the use of foreign satellites due to their higher expenses, and now they have successful local satellite services. Meanwhile, Pakistan Satellite Services is accumulating an annual deficit of $22.48 million (Rs. 3.5 billion) due to the complete absence of regulations.
At present, the capacity usage in Pakistan is approximately 2200MHz, out of which 21 percent is on Pakistani satellites, and rest is on foreign satellites. The country is paying an annual sum of $35 to $45 million to satellite providers in this regard.
For years Pakistan’s satellite program has been in limbo due to the lack of facilitation of the domestic market and the governments’ reliance on foreign services.
However, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has now prepared the policy guidelines draft with inputs from the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and other stakeholders.