Pakistani government creates subcommittee to tackle 3G auction issue

12 Sep 2011

Pakistan’s government has reportedly formed another working group tasked with resolving the ongoing dispute over the sale of third-generation mobile concessions, the Express Tribune reports. The local press source noted that the cabinet committee put together by the prime minister – with the task of examining both the auction of 3G spectrum and the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) of incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) – met at the end of last week, following which it was decided that a subcommittee should be formed to study the 3G matter in more depth. It is understood that there are continued differences of opinion between the state and PTCL, the latter of which claims that as part of the government’s share sale, it was agreed that the country could not sell any new spectrum concessions for at least seven years after that date (i.e. March 2013). For its part, the state has argued that 3G licences are not new concessions per se, but instead an extension of existing services, while it also has a different interpretation of the time limit for the sale of licences agreed as part of the PTCL stake sale.