The Standing Committee of the National Assembly has called for the process of establishing telecommunications courts to be accelerated. The committee instructed the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) to provide an update on progress within thirty days. Chaired by Kishwer Zehra, the committee met yesterday to address the delay in establishing the tribunals. While the Federal Cabinet has given its approval in principle, the Justice Department has advised that an amendment to the Telecommunications Reorganization Act 1996 is needed to implement the Cabinet’s decision.
During the meeting, the representative of the IT Ministry informed the committee that a draft amendment law has been prepared and will be sent to the Ministry of Justice for examination. It will then be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Affairs (CCLC) and the Federal Cabinet for final approval, before being forwarded to Parliament for further approval.
In addition to discussing telecommunications courts, the committee also considered issues related to the performance and regulatory functions of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). The committee recommended further empowering NEPRA to strengthen its regulatory capacity to effectively oversee the energy sector. The commission acknowledged that NEPRA currently has no authority in appointing management for power generation and distribution entities, limiting the scope of its influence.
During the discussion, the NEPRA Chairman emphasized the importance of electricity generated from Thar coal, hydro and renewable energy to save foreign exchange. The commission further recommended adjusting the three-phase meter rate to those applicable to lifeline customers consuming units within that range. The commission expressed concern that the current rate on three-phase meters is high regardless of consumption. In addition, the committee urged NEPRA to take action against distribution companies (DISCOs) that do not adhere to load shedding schedules and directions.
MOITT launches Techlift Boot Camp, providing world-class training for IT graduates