Government decided to end ICH charges on all incoming traffic to provide relief to Pakistanis living abroad. Anusha Rehman
ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday announced that more than 62.74 million SIMs have been verified so far against 47.76 million Computerized National
Identity Cards (CNICs).
At a press conference here, Minister of State for Information
Technology and Telecommunications, Mrs. Anusha Rahman flanked
by Chairman PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah, said more than 10 million had
been disowned so far for blocking. Giving date-wise statistics, Dr. Ismail Shah said on February 25, record 2.27 million SIMs were verified within a single day against 1.96 million CNICs.
Moreover, he said, on February 19, 1.37 million SIMs were
verified against 1.45 million CNICs, on February 20, 1.48 SIMs were
verified against 1.26 CNICs, on February 21, 1.45 SIMs verified
against 1.22 CNICs, on February 22, 1.12 SIMs verified against 0.95
million CNICs and on February 23, 1.58 SIMs were verified against
Chairman PTA said mobile phone users were rushing towards
service centers, franchises and retail outlets of their respective
mobile phone companies to get their SIMs verified, asking the
subscribers to get their SIMS verified before the respective
Before blockade of any SIM, the subscriber would be
informed through SMS. With regard to high charges being taken by retailers for verification, he said, the scope of verification is very big,
however, the enforcement wing of PTA is monitoring the situation,
adding that Rs 10 was decided for verification of one SIM.
Dr. Shah said he would propose the operators to issue
SMS to their subscribers with regard to Rs 10 charges for one SIM verification.
On matter of International Clearing House (ICH), Anusha
Rahman said the government decided to end ICH charges on all
incoming traffic to provide relief to Pakistanis living abroad.
She said with this development, the number of minutes
for international incoming calls to Pakistan are likely to go up
which had gone down from 1.8 billion to only 400 million minutes
after the inception of ICH.
She said the government had also decided to set Access
Promotion Charge (APC) at zero. With this move grey traffic coming
to Pakistan would decrease substantially as the incentive for grey
traffickers would get down to a level where business would not
remain viable case for them to continue the illegal channels.
Earlier, the LDI operators got stay order from High Courts on
ICH, however, the Supreme Court (SC) vacated the stay order and
upheld the government directives on ICH abolishment.