Karachi, January 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Syed Akhlaq Hussain Musavi, Director (Enforcement), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has advised representatives of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Karachi Electronic Dealers Association (KEDA) to give suggestions on various policies affecting the local businesses and also compile recommendations on how to improve the process of Type Approval Certification of imported mobile phones so that it could be simplified to facilitate the traders.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Director (Enforcement) said that PTA, being a regulatory body, was not authorized to devise policies but was only responsible to ensure implementation of various policies and regulations being formulated by the Ministry of Information Technology.
However, keeping in view the hardships being faced by mobile phone traders of Karachi, he assured that all their suggestions for simplifying complex policies would be forwarded to the Ministry with necessary amendments, if required, in order to provide some relief to traders.
Assistant Director (Enforcement) PTA, Zeeshan Shafiq, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Vice President KCCI, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Former Vice President and President KEDA, Muhammad Idrees, Chairman Communication Sub-Committee, Imran Aziz, KCCI Managing Committee members and KEDA representatives attended the meeting.
Director Enforcement PTA informed that under the Telecom Act 1996 (section 29), no terminal equipment can be directly or indirectly connected with Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) unless it has been approved by PTA. Type approval granted by PTA signifies that particular telecommunication equipment was approved for general sale and was suitable to connect with a specific public telecommunication network.
A sum of US$100 is charged as fee for Type Approval for imported equipment and so far more than 300 companies from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have acquired Type Approval Certificates for various handsets and other equipment, he added.
Replying to a suggestion pertaining to formation of a committee to look into various issues and accordingly give suggestions, Director Enforcement PTA agreed to nominate PTA representatives in the proposed Committee which will also have representatives from KCCI and KEDA with a view to take all stakeholders on board.
Underscoring the need to establish Lab Facility for testing Mobile Phones, he said that although efforts were made some time ago for setting up this important lab but unfortunately no response was received. This Mobile Testing Lab must be established so that mobile phone’s IMEIs, equipment’s quality and electro-magnetic rays could be thoroughly checked in order to ensure that mobile phones entering Pakistani markets were carrying legal IMEI and were not injurious to health.
President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra said that Karachi Chamber of Commerce will always support policies which are being devised to stop misuse of mobile phones and illegal SIMs as KCCI strongly believes that national security simply cannot be compromised.
However, these policies should be devised in such a manner that they do not affect retail businesses associated with the mobile phone industry which not only contributes substantially to the national exchequer but also provides bread and butter to millions of people across Pakistan, he added.
Iftikhar Vohra reiterated KCCI’s demand to block all prepaid SIMs in one go across Pakistan and reissue these prepaid SIMs to subscribers’ postal addresses which was the only way to effectively deal with the issue of unregistered SIMs largely being used in terrorists and criminals activities all over Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Former President KCCI and President KEDA, Muhammad Idrees highlighted the hardships being faced by thousands of small traders of Electronic Markets in Karachi whose businesses were terribly suffering due to anti-business policies imposed on the Mobile Phone industry of Pakistan which was on the verge of collapse.
He underscored the need to carry out collective efforts in order to save the sinking mobile phone industry of Pakistan as the current policies were likely to destroy businesses of more than 100,000 mobile phone retailers and small traders of Karachi electronic market.
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