ISLAMABAD: The government has handed over the loss-making entity – the Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) to the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) along with billions of liabilities and hundreds of employees and pensioners for revitalising it.
This has also been confirmed by two federal ministers including Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Amin ul Haque and Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan.
Khan took to Twitter and stated: “Congratulations to the people of District Haripur. Gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan and NRTC. TIP has been transferred to NRTC. 100 percent process completed. In SECP, TIP is visible as a subsidiary of NRTC. TIP will now become a state of the art tech unit and will create jobs”. He further said that NRTC will invest over Rs 6 billion.
Talking to Business Recorder, Haque said that TIP was incurring losses since 2004, however, the IT Ministry has taken two assurances from the NRTC during the handing over of TIP.
First NRTC will take all the liabilities of TIP. Second, jobs of all employees and pensions of retired employees of the organisation would be ensured, he added.
The minister further said that the IT Ministry would also receive income from the NRTC, however, he did not mention the amount.
When asked why IT Ministry- being the concerned and related ministry failed to turn around the organisation profitable, the IT minister said that the organisation was neglected during the previous governments and no attention was paid to revitalise it.
He said that the NRTC was interested in TIP and during the Prime Minister Imran Khan visit to the area the matter was presented. Khan and later, the federal cabinet approved the NRTC request and TIP was handed over.
Internal sources on condition of anonymity revealed that a known political figure from the area was interested in handing over the TIP to the NRTC and pleaded the matter at every forum.
The federal cabinet had approved the handover of the TIP to the NRTC to revitalise this loss-making entity.
Sources said that the NRTC was ready to take the TIP liabilities of Rs 8 billion piling since 2004, pensions and employees future responsibility, and the IT Ministry was ready to hand it over to the NRTC. The TIP has become non-functional as its annual revenue has drastically gone down from Rs 700 million to about Rs 20 million in the recent past, official sources revealed. The TIP is a state-owned enterprise (SOE) currently running in losses and draining an average Rs 500 million a year in terms of salary support.
The TIP has adequate land of 432 kanals, infrastructure, and skilled manpower.
Soon after coming into power, former Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui during a press conference had announced that the government is ready to establish a mobile phone manufacturing plant in Haripur in collaboration with the private sector, dropping the idea of privatising the TIP.
According to the NRTC mission statement is to design, develop and manufacture military and commercial level telecommunication equipment, electronic systems and IT-based solutions.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021