Saleem Mandviwalla, Former Finance Minister and PPP Senator, has shown concern over government’s move of amending laws for telecom operators, providing an escape from Competition Regulation, ProPakistani reports.
Last December, in a surprising turn of events, the government transferred the administrative controls of top five regulators of the country; Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Frequency Allocation Board.
Recently, Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended the government’s notification on a petition filed by advocate Sheraz Zaka. He argued that the decision of putting the regulatory bodies under the control of various ministries violates the rules as Council of Common Interests (CCI) was necessary to make a policy decision.
Senator Saleem Mandviwalla expressed; “MOIT and PTA intend to gain powers to allow cartel-like arrangements between the telecom companies, which under no circumstances can be authorized.”
Ministry of Information and Technology (MoIT) has drafted its own competition rules for telecom sector named “Pakistan Telecommunication Competition Rules, 2017,” clearly overlaying the jurisdiction of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) which is bound to create uncertainty in the future.
Senator Mandiviawalla relayed that such move will weaken the enforcement of the already existing competition laws on the telecom companies and will only add to the benefit of vested interests of some parties involved.