PTA Imposes Rs. 50 Million Fine on Telenor Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has imposed a hefty fine of Rs. 50 million on Telenor Pakistan, ProPakistani has confirmed this from official sources.

PTA has said that a fine was imposed on Telenor due to the unavailability of cellular services in AJK and GB for a certain period of time.

PTA, in a statement, said, “Fine on Telenor was imposed due to non-adherence of the applicable regulatory framework while suffering breakdown of major communication services in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)”.

For those who remember, Telenor services were shut down in AJK by FBR for the discrepancy on tax issues. FBR had then said that Telenor offices were sealed for non-payment of Rs. 2.85 billion in taxes.

As a result, customers suffered and to remedy that PTA has now imposed the fine on the operator. PTA, in its order, said that operators must inform customers about any potential break-down in advance.

“Consumer Regulations obligates the licensee to take all reasonable and necessary steps for providing consumers with adequate arrangements/concessions in case of lengthy outages or licensed service interruption for which due notice was not served”, read the PTA order.

Telenor’s Viewpoint

A Telenor spokesperson, while speaking with ProPakistani, said that the services were not shut down by the company and in fact, they were forced out of the company-operated towers and offices. “There’s no way we could have intimated our users of service closure in advance as we didn’t get any notice period ourselves”, remarked the spokesperson.

Telenor told ProPakistani that it was issued a tax demand notice on December 24th, and due to long-weekend on account of Quaid-e-Azam day (25th 26th & 27th December, 2020), it was not delivered to the company until December 29th, 2021.

As per Telenor, on the same day, i.e. on December 29th, 2021, FBR officers sealed the Telenor offices and towers, that effected thousands of customers, without giving the company any chance to clear the demand note.

Telenor spokesperson said that in such a situation, where things were beyond the control, the company look up to PTA for support, and not a penalty order.

A Crime Was Committed by FBR

PTA, in its order, said that the Commissioner and others involved in shutting down Telenor Pakistan’s towers and offices, committed a criminal offense under the laws that secure and protect the rights and interests of Telecom Operators.

As a result of this criminal activity, Telenor had to incur a revenue loss of Rs. 14.72 million, permanent loss of 10 percent customers and reputational loss to the company.

PTA, in its order, determined that the Commissioner and others involved, for committing this crime, should be prosecuted in accordance with the various laws of the land that afford protection to Telecom Operators, which will be a lesson and serve as a precedent to avoid any such reoccurrence in the future.

However, PTA decided not to spare Telenor for the service shut-down and directed the company to apologize to all affected consumers, refund Rs. 18 million unconditionally to affected subscribers, and deposit the remaining amount of Rs. 32 million in the Authority’s designated account within 15 days.

The authority further said that in case of non-compliance of the direction, further legal action will be initiated without any notice.

  • That’s really great thing happen, telenor is most stupid network ever, very poor & bed service also here in Swat. I think they should completely bann in Pakistan.. They just detect the balance not provide quality service. So happy ti see you in trouble #TelenorBann

  • Good step taken by PTA, the consumers of two District of Chitral are also badly affected and suffered due to poor and corrupt services of the said Company، While at least Rs 80 million is being earned monthly from here۔ Consumers are very annoyed with this service and the people of Chitral are also demanding the complete closure of this service while repeated requests for service improvement are not being considered..

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