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Event Title: Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat presiding over a meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad on August 02, 2022.

Event Date: 2022-08-02

The Senate Standing committee on Cabinet Secretariat was informed on Tuesday by the NEPRA officials that the impact of devaluation of rupee resulting in hike of fuel prices has passed through the consumer. Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad lamented that the end consumer has always suffered the most due to continuous economic crisis. He also questioned the fact that even after the cut-off of electricity, the consumer receives electricity bill and sought report on all such default cases and also to provide reason for the same. The committee also sought report on the electricity units used for small houses at far flung areas and inquired the no. of units consumed by an operational fan

The committee while taking briefing by the (FAB) also lamented on the poor quality of service provided to the consumer on mobile networks, Wi-Fi connections and cable. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said that there is no mobile or 4 G service at famous tourist sites across the country from Swat (KPK) –Murree – Abbottabad- till Islamabad

Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat met on Tuesday with Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad in the Chair here at the Parliament House. The Committee received a comprehensive briefing by the Executive Director Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) Brig Mohammed Tahir Ahmed Khan (R) on the working and performance of the FAB.

The Chairman Committee expressed serious concern on the quality of service being provided to the consumer is not up to the mark. He said that calls and cable signals are being interrupted and distorted. The Executive Director FAB informed that interfaces occur because of duct phones, boosters and illegal use of spectrum, The Chairman Committee inquired on the privacy protection of the common man users while monitoring the interferences the ED FAB informed that FAB does not have access to intrude the common man privacy it is only the mandate of the investigating agencies, the service provider and the regulator.

The committee also took serious notice of the jammer(s) installed in public and private places across Pakistan as a serious health hazard, Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi said that “Jammers emit electromagnetic rays which is harmful for health” in addition to that the Chairman committee also pointed out that Jammers emitting rays is contributing severely in air pollution apart from a clear disruption in cellular mobile networks and their Quality of service, resultantly increasing the dissatisfied customers and complaints. Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad stressed that use of jammer without permission is illegal, he said that individuals or institutions must get No Objection Certificates (NOCs) before installation of such devices in order to ensure interference free spectrum for legitimate licensee and improved service quality. The ED FAB endorsed the view point of the committee and said that lately air craft frequencies were interrupted by a jammer installed at the PM House which was identified by FAB and addressed accordingly. The committee sought report on the number of jammers installed across the city and under which authority they have been installed.  Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said that there are no mobile and 4 G services at famous tourist sites across the country from Swat (KPK – Murree- Abbottabad till Islamabad. The committee lamented this huge communication hazard and directed to take notice and address the issue accordingly  

The FAB officials apprised the committee that FAB has actively monitoring the Radio Frequencies for spectrum for detection, identification and subsequent reporting of unauthorized violation by no licensees and licensees. Fab also conducts cross border spill over survey of cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs ) and FM services along the border areas. A total of 4051x monitoring cases were reported to PTA/ PEMRA during financial year (FY) 2021-2022.

The committee was also informed that there are 161 locations for cross Border spill over surveys at Pak –India borders in Punjab and AJ&K and is reported to Indian Administration trough MOFA.

The committee was briefed that M/s Ufone acquired 9 MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz Band in the auction for Radio Frequency Spectrum for NGMs in AJK & GB for Pakistan worth USD 279 million.  M/s Ufone, M/s Telenor and M/s CMPak acquired additional spectrum in this auction of AJK & GB worth USA 30.32 million. It was also informed that PTA renewed license of Jazz Telenor in line with Policy of Federal Government and as per the terms and condition contained in its license at total price of USD 486.2 million and in AJK & GB worth USD 40.5 million for renewal of cellular mobile licenses for use of Radio Spectrum in Pakistan.

The committee was attended by Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Khalida Ateeb, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan,and Senator Saadia Abbasi. Executive Director Frequency Allocation Broad (FAB) Brig Mohammed Tahir Ahmed Khan (R) and officials from the attached departments were also in attendance.