PTA order fails to stop telcos from charging call set-up fee

ISLAMABAD - Despite the directions of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), country’s Cellular Mobile Operator (CMOs) are charging the consumers with 12 paisa on account of call set-up fee recently imposed by them.
At present, the numbers of mobile phone users in Pakistan are above 129.6 millions. Cellular tele density in Pakistan was 71.78 per cent in July 2013, but it has now reached up to the highest level in the cellular history of the country at 72.27 per cent. Official sources told The Nation that all CMOs are fleecing the consumers with 12-paisa call set up fee, which is the sheer violation of directions issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) the other day (January 1st).
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with the start of New Year has issued instructions to all Cellular Mobile Operator (CMOs) to immediately stop call set-up fee recently imposed by them. The PTA also directed all CMOs to implement the order without causing any discomfort to the mobile phone subscribers.  “PTA has issued these directions in the light of provision of Telecom Reorganisation Act and Consumer Protection Regulations 2009,” PTA’s press statement said.
The sources also said that the regulatory authority (PTA) would not initiate strict action in the form of heavy penalty, fine or punishment against the CMOs despite violation of its directions/instructions. Toothless PTA has so far succumbed to the pressure of influential mobile operators and failed to protect the rights of mobile users, they added.
It may be recalled that mobile operators have imposed call-set up charges of Rs 0.10+ tax on each call last week and posted notice on their website about imposition of new charges. PTA’s step is aimed at safeguarding customers’ interests. PTA has asked the operators to immediately stop these charges and furnish compliance report to it.

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