ISLAMABAD - The government has planned to auction 3rd Generation Spectrum (3G-telecom) licences by the end of ongoing year 2012 likely to be in November or December after failing in March this year owing to delay in hiring of international consultancy firm, it has learnt on Friday.
Sources aware of the latest developments have informed TheNation that government is considering to auction 3G-telecom licences in November or December of the current year 2012, which was earlier scheduled to be held on March 29.
“The one of the main reasons behind the delay in auction of 3G licenses is the appointment of consultant, which will likely to be hired in next two to three months”, said an official wishing not to be named. He further informed that in current set up, it seems difficult to complete 3G-auction process by November 2012.
The government has also kept Rs 75 billion under the auction of 3-G licences in the non-tax collection target in budget for next financial year 2012-13. It might be recalled here that government has also kept Rs 75 to Rs 80 billion in the budget of outgoing financial year 2011-12, however the process was delayed leading to enhance the country’s fiscal deficit at above five per cent of the GDP against the revised target of 4.7 per cent.
The sub-committee of National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) had already expressed concerns over the delay in auction of 3G licences, as the Committee in its meeting observed that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and government have locked horns over the issue of auctioning of 3G licences.
However, Chairman PTA Dr Yasin Malik informed the committee that once the hiring of international consultant was completed, he would review all the auction process. He said that the auction of 3G licences might go up to November this year.