Shortsightedness and lack of sustainability has always been the drawback in devising the short as well as long-term policies by policy makers in Pakistan, that subsequently pushed the country far back on road to progress. The government currently is engaged with the auction of 3G/4G licences scheduled to be done by the end of March next, thanks to the policy makers again who, after repeated delays during the last about two years, have finally come up with apparent consensus to allow the 3G/4G technology come in to the country. But this again has to face the dilemma of shortsightedness and lack of vision on the part decision makers as most recently the Senates Standing Committee on Information and Technology has raised some reservations on certain points including licence fee. It also criticized PTA for using the term 3G/4G/ LTE and technology neutral licensing for the auction of spectrum. The committee has recommended: auction of one technology licence i.e. 3G licences only; the terms 4G/LTE and technology neutral should not be used; 4G/LTE should be licensed later; increase the base price – $210m to $291 million; defaulters not be allowed to participate. At a stage when the government has virtually done its exercise of finalizing the policy of the 3G/4G spectrum, raising concerns and putting forward recommendations by the Senate committee would serve nothing but send a negative message to the local as well as foreign investors who are reluctantly mulling to participate in the bidding process. It would have been sane had the committee tabled these recommendations much before the governments coming up with the auction schedule and approving all regulations. Before the final approval by the Prime Minister, the 3G/4G auction policy during a couple of years had tracked through the Ministry of Information and Technology to the federal cabinet besides a lot of work done for evolving a consensus over the issue. Now as the investors have geared up for the show and the investment opportunities are all set to come in, the Senate committee has its reservations. Late, isnt it? Pakistan during the last one year is desperately looking for direct foreign investments especially in the IT and telecom sector, though this sector is rapidly gaining ground in the country. While on the hand, the government, even after the passage of few years, is yet to receive $800 million remaining amount of the PTCLs 26 per cent shares sale to Etisalate. At this decisive stage we need to go ahead with the approved policy as raising criticism and confusing the things would scare away the intending investors and Pakistan by all means is not in a position to afford this.

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Web TeamEditoriallate,put,recommendations,TooShortsightedness and lack of sustainability has always been the drawback in devising the short as well as long-term policies by policy makers in Pakistan, that subsequently pushed the country far back on road to progress. The government currently is engaged with the auction of 3G/4G licences scheduled to be...Pakistan's Only Newspaper on Science and Technology