ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) on Friday signed Integrity Pact to make the auction process of 3rd Generation Spectrum (3G) licences more transparent.

Chairman PTA Farooq Awan and Chairman TIP Shoail Muzaffar signed the pact on behalf of their respective organisations. Federal Minister for Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also witnessed the signing ceremony. At a time when government is under extreme pressure regarding alleged corruption of billions of rupees in public departments, it has decided to involve Transparency International (TI) in action of much awaited 3G Technology to make the process transparent.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that TIP would act as observer on the auction of 3G licence. He made it clear that Transparency International would not charge any fee in this regard. He further said that government would include the officials of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and other departments in auction process. Selection of TIP in this regard does not mean to curtail the role of other accountability institutions including National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Public Accounts Committee, Federal Investigation Agency and other parliamentary oversight committees, he added.

The Finance Minister said that we want maximum receipt from the auction of 3G. He further said that completion of 3G auction would play pivotal role in the improvement country economy besides creating job opportunities. 

Dr Shaikh said that committee constituted by the government to probe corruption figures in the country would start working from next week. He said that committee, headed by Farooq H Naik Federal Minister for Law and Justice, would work in collaboration with media, civil society and other government institutions.

PTA chairman Farooq Awan said that the process is expected to be completed in the current financial year 2012-13. According to the Auditor General report, a loss of $582 million was accrued to the national exchequer by the end of 2011 due to delay in auction of 3G licences.

Chairman TIP Shoail Muzaffar said that it is not only in Pakistan that TIP entered with government in such activity. It also entered into such pacts with India government as well. TIP will monitor the tender and other process of the auction without taking any remuneration, he added.

He said that TIP does not have any political role that work against the government.