ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )
The Cellulars clear telecom authority that it might not possible for the existing Cellular Mobile Operators to commit any investment in the spectrum auction unless the mentioned problems are addressed on priority basis. These reservation and serious concern shown collectively in joint letter address to PTA officer. Here is text of letter and scan copies of letters got by Telecoalert.
We take this opportunity to thank you for arranging a consultation session with the technical consultants hired by PTA for the proposed auction of the leftover spectrum after the recent NGMS spectrum auction.
As you are well cognizant of the fact that Cellular Mobile Industry had committed a very major investment in the NGMS auction held in April, 2014. During the auction process it was assured by the Government of Pakistan that the major challenges faced by the Industry will be addressed on priority basis. However we regret to inform that all the promises made during the auction process remain unfulfilled till date. On the contrary the industry problems have increased many folds in the post auction scenario on account of adverse changes by the Government of Pakistan in taxation, security related compliances and other allied matters. Moreover, we would also like to highlight that telecom sector policy review is also in progress for a while now and some of critical ancillary matters such as licensing framework and other spectrum related rights and obligations are still not clear for making an informed decision w.r.t. investment in the sector through spectrum auctions.
The problem faced by the industry have time and again been shared with the PTA, MoIT and other concerned authorities vide following list following list of attached joint industry letters:
- Right of Way Problems faced by the industry shared with PTA vide industry letters dated August 21-2015, July 09-2015, October 09-2014, July 03-2014.
- Minimum Tax @8% U/S 153 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, Taxation and Data Services, Industrial Undertaking for Cellular Mobile Industry, Elimination of Reduced Rate Custom Duty Benefit at Import Stage & Imposition of Sales Tax on Supply of SIMs and other allied tax matters shared with Government of Pakistan and PTA vide Industry letters dated Nov 02-2015, July 03-2015, Jun 17-2015, October 16-2014, September 18-2014, July 21-2014, July 21-2014, July 04-204.
- External Interference due to Jammers Installed in Different Jails across Pakistan shared with PTA vide industry letters dated April 30-2015
- Power Generation for shifting of Communication Towers to Solar Energy shared with PTA, MoIT vide industry letter dated August 21-2015.
It was clarified during the consultation session that expression of interest in auction and technical consultation is subject to commercial viability of any such initiative. . We through this letter once again want to clarify the fact that it might not possible for the existing Cellular Mobile Operators to commit any investment in the spectrum auction unless the above mentioned problems are addressed on priority basis. As required by the Consultant (M/S Interconnect Communication, UK); you may share the said information for their consumption w.r.t. finalizing their recommendations as per the task assigned to them accordingly.
We look forward for Authority’s support for the resolution of industry problems shared with PTA, MoIT and other relevant authorities vide above referred letters on priority basis.