ISLAMABAD: Syed Aminul Haque, Minister of Information Technology and Telecom, stated on Tuesday that the limits for the telecom sector’s letters of credit (LCs) facility were inadequate.
During the 44th Policy Committee meeting of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Mr. Haque warned, “Without much-needed technological parts, there are fears of service disruptions in many areas.”
He stated that restricted permissions for the LCs were hindering the import of mobile networking upgrading equipment, which was affecting the IT and telecom sectors’ overall performance.
According to the minister, “Telecom companies were facing difficulty in importing parts and equipment due to limited permission of LCs,” which could also delay projects for the provision of 4G services in remote parts of the country.
The officials told the meeting that telcos, IT firms, and their backend equipment suppliers had complained that it was hard for them to import even the essential equipment needed to run systems.
The minister stated that he would discuss the serious situation with the Ministry of Finance once more.
Out of the budget of Rs32.13 billion allocated for the Universal Service Fund (USF) for 2022-23, the meeting approved the release of a development fund of Rs5 billion for the second and third quarters. For the first quarter, Rs8.25 billion had already been released.