Finance ministry expects to raise $2 billion from sale of three spectrum licenses.
Pakistan is planning to hold its long-delayed auction of 3G telecommunications licenses by March, hoping to raise $2 billion with the sale, the government said on Friday.
A statement said the decision was taken at a meeting of the Spectrum Auction License Committee held in Islamabad, chaired by finance minister Ishaq Dar. “Pakistan expects to earn an estimated $2 billion through the auction of three spectrum licenses,” Dar was quoted as saying.
In the current fiscal year, Pakistan had budgeted to raise $1.2 billion through 3G licenses. Earlier, the minister had informed a delegation from Norwegian telecom conglomerate Telenor that the government was planning to auction the next generation spectrum licenses by March. Telenor, China Mobile and Pakistan-based Mobilink have already shown interest in bidding for the 3G licenses.
Pakistan is currently battling to overcome macroeconomic problems through the privatization of state-run enterprises and a spate of fiscal-tightening measures. The International Monetary Fund approved a $6.7 billion loan package for Pakistan in September last year, subject to strict economic reforms, particularly in its troubled energy sector and tax system.