The government has decided to conduct a macro review and revision of the entire telecommunications policy and regulatory framework to undertake next generation ICT sector reforms, it was officially learnt here on Saturday.
In this regard, the World Bank is providing a grant from its institutional development fund to initiate the review.
As part of the project, it has been decided that a working group, led by the member telecom of the ministry of information technology, will be established.
The working group will include officials of Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and other agencies.
However, the implementation of the grant has been extremely slow, and a World Bank report assigned delay in approval of the PC-1 for the grant by the Planning Commission as the major reason.
According to World Bank, 11 globally recognised companies have submitted their expressions of interests in the project.
Short-listing of these companies is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
According to the implementation status report, the World Bank awaits the early short-listing of consultant firms so that the procurement process could be completed before the end of September. To this effect, the bank has also been following up with the ministry to complete the short-listing process and has reviewed the first draft of the ‘Request for Proposals’.
The project has also been hurt due to multiple changes in leadership at the Ministry of Information Technology leading to delayed decision making.
The IT ministry had been without any minister for several months, and with the appointment of a new federal minister by the present government, the World Bank hoped that the project would now make a headway.
The working group will undertake a review of the existing telecom related policies and regulatory framework, analysing critical success factors, determining efficacy, identifying weaknesses and the emergent issues that need to be addressed.
According to the terms and conditions, an international consulting firm would support the working group to revise the telecommunications policy and regulatory framework.
The World Bank has commented that the ministry of information technology currently lacks a framework and the capacity to analyse and evaluate the second generation ICT policy and regulatory issues and responses.
The ministry does not have a consolidated strategic response system to the policy and regulatory issues raised by convergence in the telecommunications sector.
Down report on sunday