Pakistan’s Peoples Party has demanded the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to take action against Mobile phone companies for deducting a call setup charge on every prepaid call in Pakistan.
PPP’s Media Cell Sindh issued a statement calling PTA to ensure that mobile phone users aren’t charged 15 paisas call setup charge that they pay for each call, in addition to usual tariffs and taxes.
It maybe recalled that call setup charge of 15 paisas is charged by all mobile phone companies of Pakistan and all prepaid callers have to pay a call setup charge on every call they make.
PTA initially tried to stop operators from charging this call setup charge, but then soon gave up as operators objected that PTA had no mandate to regulate tariffs.
Later on, in February 2015, PTA issued new regulation called “Telecommunication Services Retail Tariff Regulations, 2015“, under which it could regulate pricing and any charges. However no action on call setup charges has been taken so far.
Pakistan People Party, in a rare move, objected the call setup charges and has asked PTA to get mobile phone users a relief.
People’s party also condemned the overall taxes on telecom sector and called them inhumane. They said that more than 80% of mobile phone users are from low-income ranks and therefore they should be provided due relief.
PPP demanded the federal government to provide relief to the mobile phone users and tax should only be levied on purchase of expensive mobile phones.
It maybe recalled that telecom sector is one of the most taxed sectors in Pakistan.