Gilgit-Baltistan Council approves auction of 4G in GB

Council approves election for new members

ISLAMABAD: As the government is going to auction Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum in the country, Gilgit-Baltistan Council has also approved auction of the fast internet services in the area.
The auction of 4G internet services was approved during 12th session of GB Council which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Friday.
The constituted under Article 33 of the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order, 2009, headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan as Chairman with the legislative domain over 68 Federal Subjects with regards to Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to officials the Government of Pakistan is undertaking auction of licenses for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum in Pakistan for which an Advisory Committee was constituted by the Federal Cabinet on the “Release of NGMS (Next Generation Mobile Services) Spectrum in Pakistan for Improvement of Mobile Broadband Services amid Covid-19. Subsequently, membership and TORs of the said Committee were revised and the regions of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) were also included in it along with the representation from the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan.
Accordingly, in order to provide better telecommunication services to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan’s and to earn revenue, the draft Directive for the Auction of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) Spectrum in Gilgit-Baltistan were unanimously approved by the Advisory Committee.
During the meeting on Friday the GB Council approved the Policy Directive for provision of Next Generation Mobiles Services (NGMS) spectrum in GB in order to provide better telecommunication service to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
While discussing agenda about election of the GB Council, the body also approved the election of the council. The tenure of six elected Members Gilgit-Baltistan Council was completed on 18th May, 2021. The existing Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly has to elect new Members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council in accordance with single non-transferable majority vote in the election to be conducted by the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner.
In order to conduct election of six elected members of the Council, the Gilgit-Baltistan Council (Election) Rules, 2021 were drafted with the consultation of GB Chief Election Commissioner and Government of Gilgit-Baltistan. Law & Justice Division had vetted the draft Gilgit-Baltistan Council (Election), Rules 2021. The GB Council has subsequently approved Gilgit-Baltistan Council (Election), Rules 2021 for conduct of election of six elected members.
Meanwhile, as per working paper of the meeting, the Council has also approved appointment of judges at banking and customs court of GB. Establishment of the administrative Courts for the subjects assigned to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council comes under the executive domain of the Prime Minister of Pakistan/Gilgit-Baltistan Council in terms of the Third Schedule of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018.
The post of Judge Banking & Customs Court Gilgit-Baltistan was vacant after completion of three year tenure of Mr. Mehr Ijaz Ali Sial who was appointed as Judge Banking & Customs Court Gilgit-Baltistan with the approval of Prime Minister/ Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan Council.
Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, 2001 of Pakistan along with its Amendment Act, 2016 has been adapted by the Gilgit-Baltistan Council. Section 5(4) of Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Amendment Act 2016, provides that a Judge of Banking Court shall be appointed by the Gilgit-Baltistan Council after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Chief Court of the Gilgit-Baltistan and no person shall be qualified for appointment as the Judge of a Banking Court unless he is, or has been, or is qualified to be a District Judge.
The Chief Judge Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court had proposed panel of three suitable, eligible / qualified serving District & Session Judges of the
Gilgit-Baltistan Judiciary, for appointing one of them as Judge Banking & Customs Court Gilgit-Baltistan as per provisions of Section 5(4) of the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance 2001.

Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


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