ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has approved Policy Directive for auction of mobile phone spectrum licenses envisaging auction of both 3G and 4G licenses together to benefit from the latest technological developments.
Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar unfolded salient features of the new policy at a news conference in Islamabad on Friday.
He said three licenses of 3G and two licenses of 4G spectrum would be auctioned most likely in the middle of April this year.
The Minister said one license has been reserved for new entrants as a number of countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are showing interest to compete as new entrant.
Ishaq Dar said the bid reserved price for 3G spectrum license would be 295 million dollar each and for 4G license 210 million dollar each. He said the reserved price for new entrants would be 291 million dollar. He explained that this is is base price and the bidding could go higher during competition and the country is expected to fetch handsomely.
As per policy, the successful bidder will have to pay 50% price forthwith while the rest would be payable in five years with interest rate 3% above LIBOR.
Replying to a question the Finance Minister said the licenses would be issued for fifteen years despite suggestions by some interested parties to extend the period to twenty years.
To another question the Minister said industrial growth in December last year was highest in seven years.
He said the IMF has also acknowledged that the economy was improving. Ishaq Dar said the GDP growth rate was likely to cross 4% during this financial year. He said the Government believed that the inflation would be confined to single digit while the IMF has revised the projection downward from 12 to 10% for the year.
The Minister said according to a Japanese survey, Pakistan is now the second most favoured country for foreign investment.