ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication has sought detail about the income generated by the telecom companies during the past 10 years.
The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was held at the Parliament House here on Friday. Chaired by Senator Kauda Babar, members present included Senator Naseema Ehsan, Senator Sania Nishtar, Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Afnanullah Khan, Senator Shahdat Awan and senior officers from Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, along with all concerned including PTA and PTCL and officials of ministry of law were also present on the occasion.
The issues taken up pertained to the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 and details regarding revenue generated by telecom companies in the past 10 years. The question raised by Senator Kamran Murtaza regarding year-wise details of funds available to USF since its inception and those lying with the Ministry of Finance was disposed of.
Deliberating over the performance of National ICT R&D Fund, the Committee was informed about its core activities, grants and impact. Chairperson Committee while appreciating the efforts of the organization stressed the need for more to be done in terms of price regulation of devices, to increase accessibility. The organization was directed to share revenue details with the Committee.
While discussing the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, the Committee was informed of the technicalities involved and the reasons for requiring more time for vetting. The Ministry of Law was of the view that the document may be reviewed in light of Article 74 of the Constitution. The Committee directed the ministry to return to the Committee after fulfilling all codal formalities within 15 days.
While reviewing details regarding revenue generated by telecom companies during the last 10 years and funds allocated towards CSR, the Committee was of the view that telecom companies must focus towards developing communities via their CSR programmes, especially in the health and education sectors. It was asserted that a framework must be developed by the ministry in this regard.
PTA was directed to provide province-wise details of income generated by telecom companies in the past 10 years. For more clarity on the issue, it was asserted that other players in the market may be summoned in the next meeting