Telecom Companies Want Compensation of Rs.1 Billion from the Government for Suspension of Services Twice
Pakistani telecommunication companies want a compensation of Rs.1 billion from the government for the losses they had incurred during the last two months. The reason for this demand is the suspension of their services when the security situation became vulnerable. The demand was put forward by the mobile phone companies to the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication. Both the ministries were given with a detailed list of revenues mutually by the telecom companies. Under the law, they are protected to get paid for their financial loses if caused due to some governmental activity.
The mobile telecommunication was suspended in four to fifteen cities during the occasion of Eid in August and on September 21 when the Day of Loving the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was observed nationally. The government had requested the suspension of mobile services to keep the security in check. Though this measure has received a considerable criticism from security analysts because the situation still grew worse causing damage to people and public property, the cellular companies had no choice but to comply.
According to Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organisation) Act under Clause 54, the telecommunication companies must follow any order from the Interior Ministry for national security. Similarly, there are other clauses that exist within this particular Act that binds telecommunication sector to federal laws and Constitution of Pakistan. The experts believe that the reason why the mobile telecommunication companies want compensation of such a hefty amount from the government is to deter the government making suspending their services in future.
It is better that the government pays the due for the losses of the cellular companies and also take other measures for securing the nation when high-alert situations come along. There are many other emergency situations for the people that can occur any time and not having a mobile service available makes matters worse.