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A Senate panel on Friday directed Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to prepare slabs regarding extra surcharges on the utility bill of its consumers. The Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, which met with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair discussed complaints regarding non-issuance of utility bills by PTCL to its users and levying the surcharges on consumers on account of non-payment of bills on due date.

The chairperson of the committee, in her observations, said that the delay in telephone bills occur on behalf of PTCL authorities but the public was being burdened by 10 percent surcharges of non-payment. The members of the committee emphasized that there were several areas where bills were not being received while e-bills could not be downloaded due to slow internet network.

Senator Rehman Milk asked the representatives of Ministry of IT to resolve the issue of pending payments of pension to retired employees of PTCL to which the ministry assured the committee that the issue was being taken care of. He suggested the Pakistan should adopt Italian model to curb the menace of corruption from the country. He said that as per the Italian framework, the record of monthly incomes of every employee of every ministry is being published on the ministry's website.

He said that the practice made it easier for the authorities to prepare the audit report for tax invaders, adding that Italy punished 5000 people for corruption under the framework.

He said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is yet to prepare rules and regulations regarding the scrutiny of social media users, adding that the cyber security was the biggest issue for internet users in the country.

He pointed out that contract of Results Transmission System (RTS) and Result Management System (RMS) was given to a foreign company instead of local company and there are daily 200 illegal clicks of Indian hackers on Election Commission official website. The committee asked the ministry and authorities concerned to prepare the report regarding the cyber crimes, cyber hacking and cyber security situation in the country and present in the next meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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