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3G License Auction Delayed Till May if Not June 2012

It appears that our earlier reports of delay in 3G auction were substantial.

It is now officially recognized that auction isn’t possible before May 2012 that too if government relaxes Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules to treat this auction as a special case, i.e. to get Rs. 75 billion revenue as soon as possible.

During a senate standing committee for on Cabinet Secretariat in Islamabad, chaired by Senator Shahid Hassan Bugti, it was told that auction of 3G licensing might be delayed till June 2012 if the government does not relax Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rule for the auction.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr. Muhammad Yaseen told the committee that 3G is need of the hour and we have requested the government to wave off PPRA rule for quick transaction of the 3G licensing.

“If the government approved wave off, then it is possible to hold bidding in May 2012 and in case of not granting the facility, then the PTA will try to hold the bidding in mid-June 2012. The government needs to hire consultant for the auction of 3G licensing”, Mr. Yaseen was quoted as saying.

He informed the committee that regulator would monitor the market to ensure that existing players do not form a cartel to bring down the base price of the license and assured the members that the government has been constantly in touch with the best known internationally recognized consultant to get maximum base price for 3G licensing.

PTA is likely publish new finalized schedule for 3G auction in a day or two. We will of course keep you posted with any updates regarding this.

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