Apex court challenges government’s use of USF finances

14 Mar 2014

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has called for a legal and constitutional explanation from the attorney general for withdrawing around PKR56 billion (USD567.5 million) from the universal service fund (USF) – the cash pool intended to be used to finance the expansion of telecoms services to underserved areas. Pro Pakistani writes that the government withdrew the money from the USF’s accounts to meet its own operating requirements, claiming that the funds would be replaced when and if required. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja questioned the government’s actions, remarking: ‘How the government can spend USF on its [own] requirements. This is [the] license fee and this can be kept only by USF only.’