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ISLAMABAD: The government has budgeted Rs 50 billion for 3G/4G license renewal as well as 5G under the head of non-tax revenue for the next fiscal year 2022-23 against Rs 45.43 billion budgeted for the current fiscal year which was later revised to Rs 100 billion.

According to the budget documents 2022-23, under the head of income from property and enterprise (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (Surplus), the government has projected to generate Rs 9 billion in the upcoming fiscal year against the budgeted four billion rupees for the outgoing fiscal year which was later revised to Rs 3 billion for 2021-22.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) last month received Rs 19.39 billion (equivalent to USD 98.49 million) against the third installment of license renewal fee from two Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) Telenor Pakistan and Pakistan Mobile Communication Ltd (Jazz). The amount has been deposited in Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF).

With this deposit, the total deposits by the PTA in the FCF during the current financial year i.e. 2021-22 have become Rs 102.5 billion (equivalent to USD 577 million).

The PTA had earlier received Rs 15.82 billion (the equivalent to USD 103.17 million) against the second installment of license renewal fee from two CMOs including Telenor Pakistan and Pakistan Mobile Communication Ltd (Jazz). The amount was being deposited in FCF as per practice under Pakistan Telecom Re-organization Act 1996.

Telcos: more uncertainty

Telenor Pakistan and Jazz had deposited $ 224.6 million (Rs 35.262 billion) each (half of the amount as per court direction) as their license renewal fee in September 2019. The government had approved the renewal of licenses of two mobile operators, i.e. Jazz and Telenor Pakistan at around $ 450 million each. The government has increased the development budget for the information technology and telecommunication division from the revised Rs 4.399 billion for the outgoing fiscal year to Rs 6.330 billion including Rs 950 million for five new schemes. The previous government had budgeted Rs 9.361 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the information technology and telecommunication division for the current fiscal year which has been revised downward to Rs 4.399 billion.

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