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Is govt serious in issuing DTH licences?

After assuming charge as Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Absar Alam had deferred the auction of Direct to home (Dth) licences award process, apparently to first know about the details of the multi-million dollar project for ensuring transparency. In July, Pemra had invited applications for issuing Dth satellite tV distribution service licences to registered companies for 15 years period. The interested companies were asked to submit their applications by August 15 along with a non-refundable demand draft or pay order of Rs500,000.

A report compiled by the legal adviser hired by Pemra has termed the process to launch Dth services by the previous management as 'illegal', and asked the authority to call fresh bids while keeping the already shortlisted applicants intact as per the new prescribed process. Pemra had shortlisted eight companies for participation in the bidding for Dth licences. The short-listed companies include sardar Builders (Pvt) Limited, Parus Media and Broadcast (Pvt) Limited, Mastro Media Distribution (Pvt) Limited, hB Dth (Pvt) Limited, M/s iQ Communications (Pvt) Limited, nayatel (Pvt) Limited, shahzad Cgg (Pvt) Limited and sharif Feed Mills (Pvt) Limited.

Now Pemra has issued the new revised information memorandum (iM) for the auction of Dth licenses to be held on October 31.

Pemra has revised the eligibility criteria for the applicants, which has already disqualified some of the earlier accepted applicants.

Eligibility criteria for applicants:

Applicant must be a registered with the securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (sECP). One applicant can't apply or get more than one Dth licence.

Applicants must have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs100 million.

The applicant company will have to demonstrate that it has sufficient financial and technical resources to launch, establish and operate the Dth distribution service. Applicants shall have less than 50 per cent of the shares owned or controlled by foreign nationals/companies, if any, with or without management or control vested in foreign nationals or companies. The chief executive officer of the applicant company must be a resident Pakistani.

The applicant, directly or indirectly, already holding any licence(s) issued by the authority, shall not be eligible for grant of licence unless all outstanding dues in respect of such licence(s) have been paid.

Any director or shareholder of one applicant company shall not be a director or shareholder in any other applicant company for Dth distribution service licence. The applicants must not already be a licensee who owns, controls or operates directly or indirectly any broadcast media licence or landing rights permission. The applicant shall demonstrate universal service objectives.

Shortlisting of applicant companies

The applicant companies shall be shortlisted as per the above criteria as per provisions of Pemra laws on the basis of the documents/information provided by them. Incomplete applications may not be entertained.

Shortlisting of applicant company, however, shall not guarantee grant of licence. The licence shall be granted to the successful bidders only after fulfillment of all legal requirements, approval of authority and payment of requisite fees and taxes.

Shortlisting does not include security clearance, public hearing and provincial concurrence. These shall be done for all shortlisted applicants after completion of the bidding process and before grant of the licence. Pemra reserves the right to seek any information and clarification or any additional documentation from any applicant company or its shareholding or holding/parent company within such time as it may deem fit. If the applicant company fails to provide such information and clarification within the stipulated time, its application may be rejected without any further processing. The shortlisted applicant companies shall be invited to participate in the bidding as per bidding procedure given in regulation 10 below.

Bidding Procedure

Shortlisted companies that participate in the bidding shall provide a separate Power of Attorney on stamp paper and executed, notarised, witnessed, stamped and authenticated as required by law, for the person representing the company in the bidding process (schedule-g). The company shall be bound by the decisions of that person so authorised or having power of attorney in matters connected to the bidding. A maximum of two representatives per company shall be allowed to participate in the bidding. If less than three shortlisted bidders appear on the bidding date, the matter shall be referred to the authority for decision, and the authority shall decide within thirty calendar days whether to declare the bidder or bidders provisionally successful or not.

The decision of the authority shall be final.

The bidding committee, duly constituted by the authority, shall conduct the bidding process. In case of any dispute during the bidding process, the decision of the bidding committee shall be final. The bidding shall consist of the following two rounds:

First round through sealed bids

Second round through open outcry

The second round shall start immediately after the first round. Only authorized persons of the shortlisted applicant companies shall be allowed to participate in the bidding process on provision of the authorisation letter.

The bids shall be offered in Pak rupees.

The conditional bids, having 'ifs' and 'buts,' shall out-rightly be rejected.

License Fee

The successful bidders may choose to pay the licence fee upfront or in instalments as per following options:

Upfront: 100pc payment

Instalments: an upfront payment of the balance towards 50pc of the applicable licence fee, and the remaining amount in 10 years in 10 equal annual instalments with a cumulative mark-up rate at the KiBOR rate, applied from the period of the date the upfront payment is due to the payment date.

The successful bidders may pay the remaining balance of the applicable licence fee at any time in advance of the scheduled instalment, along with payment of cumulative mark-up up to such date of payment. Pemra is working to offer maximum facilitation to stakeholders and investors to attract more investment and employment in country in the electronic media sector.
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Publication:Flare
Date:Sep 30, 2016
Words:1059
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