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Pakistan Plans 3G License Auction by March

by AFP
Banaras Khan—AFP

Banaras Khan—AFP

Finance ministry expects to raise $2 billion from sale of three spectrum licenses.

Pakistan is planning to hold its long-delayed auction of 3G telecommunications licenses by March, hoping to raise $2 billion with the sale, the government said on Friday.

A statement said the decision was taken at a meeting of the Spectrum Auction License Committee held in Islamabad, chaired by finance minister Ishaq Dar. “Pakistan expects to earn an estimated $2 billion through the auction of three spectrum licenses,” Dar was quoted as saying.

In the current fiscal year, Pakistan had budgeted to raise $1.2 billion through 3G licenses. Earlier, the minister had informed a delegation from Norwegian telecom conglomerate Telenor that the government was planning to auction the next generation spectrum licenses by March. Telenor, China Mobile and Pakistan-based Mobilink have already shown interest in bidding for the 3G licenses.

Pakistan is currently battling to overcome macroeconomic problems through the privatization of state-run enterprises and a spate of fiscal-tightening measures. The International Monetary Fund approved a $6.7 billion loan package for Pakistan in September last year, subject to strict economic reforms, particularly in its troubled energy sector and tax system.

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1 comment

Parvez Iftikhar January 18, 2014 - 11:25 am

It started from 700 mil, then 1.2 bil, now it’s 2 bil. My opinion: we shouldn’t be focused on this short term gain. There’s much more to be had if we focus on bringing in and using the tech.


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