Process of 3G licence auction begins today
ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to begin the open auction process of the much delayed third generation (3G) telecom licences on Wednesday with the approval of the bidding plan. The auction is estimated to yield around $1 billion in revenue.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is to preside over a meeting of the federal cabinet, which is expected to also approve a Rs65 billion capital injection into the power sector to minimise loadshedding in Ramazan and ease out entire energy sector from chronic circular debt, besides clearing laws to penalise thieves and saboteurs of gas, power and oil infrastructure and installations.
Sources told Dawn on Tuesday that a meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and attended among others by Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain and the telecom secretary and high-ups of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had last-minute consultations to immediately bring before the cabinet a formal summary for approval on Wednesday.
The summary would not be sent to the cabinet members, as normally required under the rules of business for advance preparation of the considered opinions of their respective ministries, but was expected to be circulated during the course of the cabinet meeting, the sources said.
The 3G is a category of next generation mobile networks that operates at a higher frequency and larger channel bandwidth to support very high data rates of up to 4Mbps.
The government had planned to auction 3G telecom licences during previous financial year and had set a target of Rs50 billion in last year`s federal budget.