Pakistan Telecommunication Authority cancels high calling rates for overseas Pakistanis
By: Mehtab Haider
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has withdrawn the imposition of International Clearing House (ICH) charges on incoming calls from abroad, meeting a sustained demand of overseas Pakistanis, said sources on Tuesday.
A notification has been issued by the PTA and will be submitted before the Lahore High Court (LHC) today (Wednesday) in this regard, they said. Under the ICH mechanism, the government had revised the rates upwards on incoming calls from 1.25 cent per minute to 8.8 cents per minute, said sources.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and many overseas Pakistani associations and leaders had raised objections against this move and finally the issue landed before the Lahore High Court, they said.
However, when contacted, Farooq Awan, Chairman of the PTA, said that the court would take the final decision on this subject. Meanwhile, the PTA spokesperson in her brief statement said, “It is in line with the policy clarification by the Ministry of Information Technology, asking LDI operators to suspend interconnect circuits, as the matter is subjudice in the court.”
The industry sources said that the government would suffer a loss of $800 million to $900 million per annum after the withdrawal of the ICH mechanism.