Senators Oppose ICH, Term it an Act of Extortion

Pakistan-Senate-480x238Political leadership of the country has opposed recently implemented International Clearing House or ICH that has risen the call tariffs for incoming calls to Pakistan from 300% to 800%.

Treasury legislators belonging to the PPP, PML-N, PML-Q and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said some officials of the Cabinet Division were behind this decision and warned that the foreign exchange inflow would be depleted by the tax

MQM staged a walkout from the Senate over imposition of tax on incoming international calls while other parties in the House called for its withdrawal.

Terming the tax on overseas calls injustice with Pakistanis residing abroad, the senators demanded the immediate withdrawal of ICH to normalize the incoming tariffs. MQM’s Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said the increased tax was a form of extortion and that his party would continue the walkout until it was withdrawn

The decision, he said, was taken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) when some LDI providers convinced the authority. They later got approval from the Ministry of Information Technology.

“The world is moving towards free phone calling, while Pakistan is enhancing the rates; it is regrettable,” he maintained.

Speaking during the session, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s Senator Kamil Ali Agha said that remittances by overseas Pakistanis had already dropped by 10 percent, and the tax on incoming international calls would lead to a further decrease in remittances, which are backbone of the Pakistan economy.

Leader of House, Senator Jahangir Badar said the new tax was imposed by the Ministry of Information Technology after obtaining approval from the prime minister. He said it would curtail grey trafficking in the telecom sector and would also bring in revenue of $500 million every month. Main purpose of the imposition of the tax was to bring parity in call rates, he claimed.
Leader of Opposition in Senate Ishaq Dar said the leader of House, who represents the prime minister, agreed with the call-attention mover, which meant that there was no clash on the issue and the tax should be withdrawn.

Civil society is also opposing the ICH and has urged Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the issue for the sake of general public.

  • It is not the TAX . It is the money that will be distributed in the LDI consortium as per their Market Share. Can Some one explain how it is a TAX. Mr.Jahangir Badar is responsible person. He should deliver calculated statement.

    • *It is the money that will be distributed in the LDI consortium as per their Market Share.*

      What a great idea! How do I join this LDI consortium?

      Oh, I forgot. I’m not allowed to do that. So tell me again why the PTA and government is supporting the LDI licencees???

  • Blame the PTA that insists on collecting US 5.9 cents per minute on incoming calls. The majority of countries with a developed telecom sector have dropped taxes to zero and allow the market to control the price. If ICH is dissolved, LDI operators will simply stop terminating incoming calls, as all calls will come through grey channels…then Pakistan will get nothing in revenue from this incoming traffic.

    • Hello everyone wakeup and look across the world ICH is in Pakistan national interest, for example Gulf, UAE and Europian coutries, when you call someone who lives in Gulf states, Middle east or Europe you always pay high rates,
      and they’re making billion of dollars out of it, its one of the many reasons of their economies and thats why they’re stable.
      its very necessary for Pakistan’s national interest, you could find good and bad people anywhere in the world and they always there, so think possitive and don’t be foolish.

      cheers ))

  • Pehle 1£ wale card se ghanta ghanta baat krte the ab 10 minute b ni hoti. Hud hai chori ki. Geo bhutto, mulk nu lutto!

  • Hi guys, the fact is little different. LDI industry led by PTCL had approached the highest quarters and offered some thing big for ICH making. Their mouth watered, so Govt’s policy on ICH and PTA’s working according to the orders are all the out come of that offer. Wording of Policy clearly shows that it is drafted by some LDI and not by Ministry officials. PTA, led by Govt planted chairman, is not more than a dancing monkey like CCP. It is an unaccountable two billion plus game, simple math.

  • they should take back their decision world is moving towards free calls we all request chief justice to take action on it y the Gov making fun of all Pakistani living abroad

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