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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has taken serious notice of the jammers installed in public and private places across Pakistan and stated that these have been hazardous for health and sought a report on the number of jammers installed.

The meeting of the Cabinet Secretariat presided over by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad on Tuesday received a detailed briefing by the senior official of the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) on the working and performance of the organization.

The FAB officials informed the committee that the FAB had been actively monitoring the radio frequencies for spectrum for detection, identification and subsequent reporting of unauthorised violation.

The FAB also conducts cross-border spillover survey of cellular mobile operators and the FM services along the border areas. A total of 4,051 monitoring cases were reported to the PTA/PEMRA during the fiscal year 2021-2022.

The meeting expressed displeasure over the quality of service being provided to the consumer and stated that calls and cable signals were being interrupted and distorted frequently. The meeting was informed that frequent interfaces and illegal use of the spectrum has been problematic in this regard.

The committee wanted to know about the privacy protection of the common man while monitoring the interferences, upon which, he was told that the FAB did not have access to intrude the common man privacy and it was only the mandate of the investigating agencies, the service provider and the regulator.

Senator Rukhsana Zuberi said “jammers emit electromagnetic rays which are harmful for health,” whereas, the chairman committee also pointed out that jammers’ rays were contributing to air pollution as well as disruption in cellular mobile networks and their quality of service. Consequently, there are increasing numbers of complaints by consumers with regard to the quality of services.

The meeting was of the view that the use of jammers without permission is illegal, adding that individuals or institutions required NOCs before the installation of such devices.

The committee sought a report on the number of jammers installed across the city and under which authority they have been installed. The senators also lamented the lack of mobile and 4G services at tourist sites across the country from Swat to KPK–Murree-Abbottabad etc.

As the proceedings of the meeting started, the chairman of the committee asked the officials of the NEPRA that there were complaints from the consumers that they were being sent electricity bills even after the disconnection of their electricity connection. The chairman sought a report and asked to let the committee know in the next meeting as to how many units are consumed.

The meeting was informed that the impact of increase in fuel prices consequent to the depreciation of the rupee is, of course, passed on to the consumers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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