The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, chaired by Ali Khan Jadoon, stated that the issue of unauthorized and illegal SIMS may be curbed through a collaborative effort of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA).
The committee instructed the PTA to work for the provision of the Internet to the unserved and underserved areas, and particularly those in Balochistan, on a priority basis.
On the unanimous recommendation of the committee, the details of the agreement between the Government of Pakistan and Etisalat, which has 26 percent of the PTCL’s shares along with management control of the then-telecom will be discussed in the next in-camera meeting of the committee.
The issue of the SIMs of deceased persons was also deliberated upon in detail, and the PTA briefed the committee about the mechanism for the transfer of SIMs to successors.
The committee also unanimously gave a suggestion for an automatic procedure to block the SIMS of deceased persons. It instructed the PTA and the NADRA to collaborate and devise a workable mechanism within a week for this issue.
Furthermore, the committee recommended that there should be a mechanism whereby the PTA may automatically detect a deceased person’s NIC number so that the SIMs issued against the identity of deceased persons may be prohibited.
The representative of the PTA informed the committee that a total of five voices SIMS and two data SIMS can be issued against one NIC number. The PTA also briefed the committee about the verification of SIMs across the country.
The committee took serious notice of the issue of the method of the sale of SIMs across Pakistan, and instructed the PTA to develop a mechanism to regulate the sale of SIMs by telecom providers.
It also sought the details of the agreement between Etisalat and the Government of Pakistan for the next in-camera meeting, and raised reservations about not attending the committee meeting by the senior officers of the PTCL.
The committee unanimously instructed the PTA about the provision of internet services to the far-flung areas, especially in Balochistan and Sindh. The agenda item related to tax revenue by the telecom industry and the agenda item II related to Sub-Committee was deferred.
The meeting of the Standing Committee was attended by MNAs Aysha Rajaz Ali, Romana Khurshid Alam, Syed Mehmood Shah, Naz Baloch, Naz Baloch, Ali Gohar Khan, and senior officers from the PTA, the USF, the NADRA, and the PTCL.