ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )
Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah showed his dissatisfaction on International Calling House (ICH). In his interview recently he pointed out that some drawbacks are present in ICH which should be reviewed. He also pointed out heavy grey traffic coming in Pakistan in the presence of ICH. It is interesting to note that he was head of the committee that established the ICH. He was fundamental in planning, creating rules and regulations and establishing the terms and conditions of the agreement for all the participating companies. Dr Shah played the role of the main architect in ICH when he was member telecom in MOITT.
The major reasons that led to the creation of ICH were to stop grey traffic and to help prevent foreign currency theft. But with his remarks it seems that he has accepted the failure of ICH in solving the two main issues it was designed. Grey traffic is still existing in the market and foreign currency is still being stolen through illegal operations.
It should be reminded here that Telenor Pakistan has left ICH few months ago due to differences over mobile termination rate (MTR). Though it was not on the forefront but PTCL took legal action against Telenor’s action in Sindh High Court through other Telecom companies. But PTA on the other hand didn’t take any action on it. The role of PTA Chairman is pivotal in implementing government policies and regulations. However his recent remarks show that he has intention of taking serious steps against ICH and its drawbacks.
Here is Chairman PTA interview in Urdu….