Just a couple of weeks ago, 3G conference post born due to lack of interest from PTA in hiring authentic consultants for this auction on time. Swear clashes between chairman PTA and head of inspection team came on surface during that time, but the bright part of the story is that things moved on and at last PTA has hired three consultants for Rs. 70 million, but it seems that this story won’t end so soon as the PTA Member Technical, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar wrote a letter to all higher authorities including principal secretary to the PM, the cabinet secretary, secretary information technology, chairman PTA and others and raised a question on such hefty salaries to consultants and inform them that this is violation of Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 as well as the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules, 2004.
Considering the massive corruption in Pakistan and international reports, such decision will surely increase the negativity in the minds of people in all over the world.
Even one of the three members of authority revealed that the hiring process itself is not transparent. One can easily understand from this statement that when the hiring process won’t be transparent, then how the rest of things can be transparent.
The member technical, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar revealed that under the PTA act 1996, all kinds of contracts should be signed by the authority. Whereas, in this case, he himself came to know about the hiring of consultants through the media.
While talking to media, Khokhar also said that,
“The chairman alone, without involvement of any of the Authority members and even without the financial concurrence of the Member (Finance), have hired and signed contract with three foreign consultants to whom approximately $0.7 million would be paid as per reports in the media,”
This statement clearly shows that apart from just member technical, the member finance was also not the part of the decision made by the chairman PTA.
After hearing the one sided story from khokhar, media approached the Chairman PTA for the confirmation of his one-man decisions and his clashes with member technical, but he replied that khokhar is not aware of all the facts of this case and talking on behalf of incomplete knowledge.
He also added that under the PTA act, the chairman reserves the right to hire advisers or consultants without letting the authorities know. Moreover, these decisions don’t breach even a single rule of PPRA and he will soon give a detailed reply to the letter of member technical.
The matter of fact is that according to the section 5(m) of the aforesaid Act, signing on all kinds of contracts is the responsibility of authority. Whereas, authority enjoys all kinds of financial powers as well according to section 13 (1). The case of introduction of 3G lies under the power of authority according to section 4(e). Moreover, conducting of auction is also a responsibility of authority under section 5(2) of the same act.
Up till now only three consultants applied for the announced position, a UK based, India based and a local company, but all of those three rejected by the committee of nine members of the PTA, Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and Ministry of IT on different grounds.
The main reason of this much small number of interested applicant is none other than the inappropriate qualifying criteria and the corruption involved in all the process. The most important factor is indeed the report of transparency international due to which foreign investors are avoiding to apply for this position.