ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) has clarified that formulation of telecom sector policies is the exclusive domain of the Ministry of Information Technology being defined as the Federal Government for the telecom sector as per the Telecom Act.

The national regulator PTA has the designated role of implementing the policies formulated by the GoP and to provide inputs to the Ministry for devising policy. Accordingly the currently underway initiative of review and integration of all telecom sector related policies to cater to the needs of the emerging technology and market scenarios, is being spearheaded by the Ministry of  IT and the requisite drafts and manuscripts etc. are under preparation with the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) and not the PTA.

It is pertinent to mention here that initial review period of the policies including the Deregulation Policy, the Cellular Mobile Policy and Broadband policy etc. ended in 2008 but no attention was given to the requisite review during the tenure of the previous government. The Minister for IT, Ms Anusha Rehman put due emphasis on this crucial subject immediately after assuming office and the process is underway in a clear, transparent and inclusive process. It was also decided that all existing policies will be reviewed, updated and integrated into one manuscript to remove chances of conflict and redundancies among provisions for different sub-sectors. Thus, MoIT and the consultants engaged in collaboration with the World Bank have sought comments of all stakeholders, including PTA, during the policy review process.  The comments of stakeholders including those of PTA and FAB are currently being compiled to produce an official consultation draft. The first official draft of the said policy will be concluded shortly and a large scale public consultation duly advertised in the national media will be launched, based on this official draft, to seek the comments of all public sector and industry stakeholders as well as public at large, media and civil society. The policy statement of the Ministry of IT concluded that the focus of the government is on quality of the output & integrity of the process and its transparency to ensure that the policies laid down will effectively cater to the emerging telecoms landscape for years to come.