NA Standing Committee IT & Telecom Notice of Closing PTCL Telephone Exchanges And defaulted Telecom firms:
ISLAMABAD – July 07, 2011 (APP): Standing Committee of the National Assembly on IT and Telecom has expressed serious concerns over issue of recovery of outstanding dues against defaulted Telecom firms. The Committee which met today at Parliament House, under the chairmanship of Barjees Tahir, has recommended seizing of accounts of defaulted firms to set a precedent for the future. The Committee criticized the defaulters saying that these companies are prowling people’s wealth and taking it to abroad. The Committee stressed the Ministry of IT and Telecom to take immediate steps for the recovery and to bring the culprits in to justice. The Committee also opined for the suspension of the licenses of concerned LDI Operators. Earlier, Dr Yaseen, Chairman Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) informed the Committee that LDI Operators had challenged the AP Rules in High Court on which the Court gave its decision in favor of PTA. Countering the decision, the said Operators taken the matter into Supreme Court of Pakistan which is now pending. He informed that PTA in the meanwhile has issued orders for suspension of licenses of WorldCall, Wisecomm, 4-B Gentle, Multinet and Red Tone for non-payment of dues on which on which High Court ordered for the stay. It is worth mentioning that PTA has to recover Rs. 41 billion out of which 15.904 billion rupees are total outstanding from top ten LED Operators. The Committee however opined to wait for the report of PAC in that regard and maintained that the said companies’ accounts be seized. Ch. Barjees Tahir further added in recommendation that the names of the owners must also be included in ECL (Exit Control List).
He also asked the Ministry’s authorities to take notice of removing of PTCL Exchanges. He said there are many reports that PTCL is removing its telephone exchanges resulting into termination of services. He said Pakistan cannot afford such losses by giving 26% shares of PTCL to foreigners. Latter, responding to briefing on IT Policy the committee said that there were many projects remained delay causing financial burden on national economy. The policy must conform to the objectivity and the result orientation. The committee also asked the officials to redress the policy and said the targets must be set so that they can be achieved. Besides Chairman of the Committee and the Secretary IT and Telecom Mr Saeed Ahmad Khan, members of the committee and officials from the relevant departments also attended the meeting.