Watchdog growls: Hiring of 3G auction consultants against rules, says NAB

NAB asks PTA to meet procurement rules by December 26.

Our Correspondent December 21, 2012


The launch of third generation (3G) telecom services hit further bureaucratic snags when the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) declared the hiring of consultants for 3G bandwidth auction in violation of PPRA (Public Procurement Regulator Authority) rules.

The accountability bureau has asked Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ensure that the laid out rules are met by December 26.

Sources in NAB said that the PTA have been asked to either fix the existing violation of PPRA rules or re-hire the consultants as the existing ones would be illegal. “There are 41 PPRA rules and a violation of even one of them renders a project illegal,” said the official. The government is moving very cautiously with the 3G bandwidth auction to avoid any scandal as witnessed in India during the 2008 2G licence auction that has landed the then Indian telecom minister in jail.

The Bureau

The PTA chief Farooq Awan told National Assembly Committee on Information Technology early this week that NAB had raised no objection after the authority gave them a detailed briefing on the project.

In a letter to Secretary Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT), NAB has also asked for a detailed presentation to NAB chairman on the issues of tax evasion, GST evasion on SMS, Universal Services Fund (USF), E-Governance and auction of broadband frequency on 1 January 2013.

NAB has identified that tax evasion by the cellular companies occur because of absence of forensic auditing and facility of interlinking exchanges. The Bureau has also found out that the 19.5% GST that cellular companies were charging on SMS was very high and asked MoIT to clarify the violation of this rule.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2012. 


Asim Ali | 9 years ago | Reply

Hiring of consultants which can actually help get foreign investment worth billions of dollars is illegal. However the irony is that tax dodgers, fake degree holders, failed leadership, bringing the railways and airlines to the verge of bankruptcy, excessive load shedding, abuse of public money by politicians is all legal! What a country we live. On top of it, our trashy media is only concerned on how to scandalize. What a pitiful state of affairs

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