ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom has proposed downward revision in biometric charges and benchmarking of spectrum price, official sources told Business Recorder.
A stakeholders committee was constituted in pursuance of the directions of the Prime Minister on April 6, 2020 with the mandate to carry out consultations, evaluate the proposals of the cellular mobile operators and furnish recommendations to the Prime Minister.
The committee held consultations with stakeholders and subsequently furnished a comprehensive report on the matter to the Prime Minister’s Office on May 11, 2020. Accordingly, a summary was submitted to the Prime Minister, upon which it has been directed that proposals on biometric verification charges, industrial undertaking for telecom sector, benchmarking of spectrum price/fee in PICR (instead of USD) and dispute resolution viz-a-viz licence renewal, be placed before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet.
The sources said the proposal regarding reduction in biometric charges with Nadra were discussed at length at PM’s Task Force on IT and Telecom and the Committee constituted to address the critical issues of CMOs. However, Nadra has not agreed to reduce the charges for biometric verification.
On status of industry/industrial undertaking for the telecom sector, the sources said, the matter has already been taken up by the ECC’s constituted committee on telecom sector taxation headed by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms.
Commenting on licence renewal under future spectrum price/licence fees in rupees instead of dollars, the sources said the matter has been referred to the Advisory Committee on release of Next Generation Mobile Service (NGMS) spectrum in Pakistan constituted by the Federal Cabinet.
The sources further stated that the matter regarding removal of 2019 disputed licence renewals and late payment fee (QoS, roll out obligation and LPAF) is likely to be referred to the advisory committee on release of NGMS spectrum in Pakistan constituted by the Cabinet on the recommendations of the ECC.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021