Telenor and Pakistan

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					Telenor Pakistan has always supported bloggers and considers them to be
online journalists. We believe they have a very important role to play in the
evolution of media in Pakistan.
Having an opinion and expressing it is the right of every citizen however, a line must be drawn
when that opinion distorts and misrepresents facts and damages reputation. Telenor Pakistan is
dismayed by the sensationalistic reporting of a blogger on one of the leading telecom blogs,
In a recent story on Propakistani, the blogger alleges:
   “It was recently unveiled that Telenor has secretly used British funds to establish its
   financial services solution called easypaisa
   However, none of the involving parties, including Telenor, Tameer Bank or the British
   government ever announced the existence or the utilization of this fund.”
The fund is NOT a secret:
   •   The funding was received by Tameer Microfinance Bank NOT Telenor Pakistan through
       the State Bank of Pakistan and not directly from UKAid (DFID) or the British
   •   Tameer Microfinance Bank received it from the State Bank of Pakistan’s financial
       inclusion program under its technology related technical assistance grant for capacity
   •   Further details of the grant and its disbursal process are (and have been) on the State
       Bank’s website so were never a secret
   •   Tameer Microfinance Bank in its annual report published and available on its website,
       again in the public domain has declared all grants received
   • Point #20, Pg 17 &
       Para 1, Pg 18
   •   An article was published on this grant in 2009
   •   “Telenor on other hands, neither disclosed this information nor provided any
       subsidy/discount to end users for service usage against the funds it took from the British
   •   Again, the funding was given by the State Bank to Tameer Micorfinance Bank and NOT
       to Telenor Pakistan
   •   “It merits mentioning here that Telenor is making significant amount of revenues from
       it’s easypaisa services, while on other hands, despite of foreign aid, Easypaisa’s
       transactional charges are amongst the highest in all kind of money processing charges,
       locally and globally”
   •   Under its mandate, the grant cannot not be used to “subsidize” the cost of services
       offered. Since it was meant for “technology related technical assistance” it was used by
       Tameer Microfinance Bank to strengthen agent review and risk management systems and
       to enhance treasury and payment gateways for home remittances.
Our official statement sent to the blogger BEFORE the article was published:
   •   UKAid’s contribution towards the branchless banking industry in Pakistan came through
       a disbursal to State Bank of Pakistan. In turn, Tameer Microfinance Bank received a
       grant for financial inclusion from State Bank of Pakistan last year. As a direct result of
       this grant, Rs. 82 million were allocated for branchless banking capacity building. The
       purpose was to further strengthen agent review system and risk management systems,
       critical for success of a branchless banking solution.
Considering the importance of home remittances for generating positive economic activity in the
country, this year, Tameer Microfinance Bank has received Rs 20 million for enhancement of
treasury and payment gateway for home remittances
Despite our efforts to make the facts available to the blogger, well before he published the story
and several times after as well, he continues to keep to his version of story on the blog; leaving
us no choice but to present the facts and let them speak for themselves.