In the past six months, around 4 million SIM cards have been blocked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), as revealed by its chairman during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat. The committee, led by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, discussed various issues.
The PTA chairman shared that they oversee 2,000 license holders in different fields, serving a total of 191 million mobile users and 127 million broadband subscribers. He mentioned that these SIM cards were blocked due to different reasons.
The challenge of expanding fiber optic networks was acknowledged, and the PTA chairman stressed the importance of simplifying the process to overcome the difficulties they are facing.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, a committee member, drew attention to important areas such as cybersecurity, inappropriate content on social media, personal privacy, and consumer rights. The committee chair asked for suggestions to address PTA’s problems, to be submitted in writing.
The committee also interacted with officials from the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority, urging them to ensure transparency and proper maintenance. The committee assured its support to help the authority achieve its goals despite financial constraints.
Another topic of discussion was the problem of unauthorized connections to the electricity supply in Karachi, known as the “Kunda” culture. The Director General of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) was involved in discussions about this issue, along with problems related to incorrect billing and taxation on electricity bills. The NEPRA DG explained the legal context of these charges and suggested actions to prevent such malpractices in the future.
The meeting concluded with talks about a public safety campaign against cylinder blasts. Officials from the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) informed the committee about this campaign. The committee chair stressed the importance of raising public awareness and encouraged relevant government bodies to speed up the process of making laws to ensure the safety of citizens.