ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved new directors on Universal Service Fund (USF) Company Board including three from the private sector for the development of telecommunication services across the country.
According to the summary approved by the Cabinet a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, stated that the secretary of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication will be the chairman of the USF Board, while the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Member Telecom (Ministry of IT), Legal expert Sofia Saeed (Independent), financial expert Ayla Majid (Independent), telecom expert Muhammad Yousuf (Independent), CEO PTCL Hatem Bamataraf, CEO Zong Wang Hua and the CEO of the USF have also been included in the board as members.
The USF Company was established under Section 33A of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 for provision of telecom services in unserved and underserved areas of the country. The Fund comprises contributions from telecom operators and is utilised through the USF Company established by the Federal Government under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 (now Companies Act, 2017).
As per Rule 11(1) of the Universal Service Fund Rules, 2006 and Article 34 of the Articles of Association of the USF Company, the Board consists of nine directors including secretary IT as its chairman.
Three directors are from public sector while five of the directors are nominees of fixed line operators, cellular operators, financial expert, telecom or information communication technology expert. In addition, legal expert and CEO of the company are appointed for a period of three years in terms of Rule 12(3) of the Rules read with Section 161 of the Companies Act, 2017.
The process for nominations of the Board of Directors of USF Company was initiated through advertisements in newspapers and the USF website for Mobile Cellular Licensees and Fixed Line Licensees. The nomination of independent directors was made in pursuance of section 10(3) of the State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Act 2023.
A meeting of the board’s nomination committee was held on 27.04.2023 as per section 10 of the State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Act 2023. The minutes of the meeting were duly signed by the respective members.
The nomination committee after a thorough “evaluation regarding appointments from the panel for each category on USF Board, recommended the nominees for their appointment as board member/director/ independent director for a period of three years.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023