PM sets up committee to plan for imminent licence renewals

8 Feb 2019

A technical committee has been constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan to evaluate licence renewal policy for the three wireless concessions that are due to expire this year, the Business Recorder reports, citing official sources. Licences for Telenor and Jazz (specifically the licence originally awarded to Warid prior to its merger with Mobilink) are due for renewal in May this year whilst Chinese-owned Zong will need to renew its licence in October. The government currently has no system in place – nor any policy guidelines – for the renewal, but is nevertheless reportedly expecting to generate from PKR1 billion to PKR2 billion (USD7.2 million-USD14.4 million) from the process. According to the sources, the new committee will comprise the head of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) as well as officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the finance, law and justice ministries as well as members of the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB). The committee will evaluate benchmarks and different models for renewal whilst considering the legal and financial aspects, before submitting their recommendations to a committee of ministers. A final draft would then be submitted to the cabinet for approval.