The telecom operators recently informed their users that there might be regular cellular service outages. The phone call load shedding will be like electricity power cut down in Pakistan due to the federal government’s increased taxes. However, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) stated otherwise as the companies are advised not to shut down their services. Under the current circumstances, the Pakistani citizens are left with nothing but to wait for further clarification from the telecom operators and Govt of Pakistan.
Why are Telecom Companies Forcing Phone Call Load Shedding on Users?
Recently, a Senate Standing Committee meeting on finance was held in which the telecom companies expressed their concerns about the taxes hike. As per the telcos representative, the federal government has increased the duty by 20% and 15% advanced tax on the imported optic fibre cable. They also said that only 10% of the line was used in the towers across all cities of Pakistan. They raised concerns regarding challenges they have faced, and the additional optic fibre tax is just a cherry on top. Also, the representatives requested the government to reduce the additional taxes on optic fibre by 8%, or else the country will lose the global connectivity race, and the public will have to face phone call load shedding. As the outcome, the committee assured the companies that their request would be put forward before the federal government.
PTA’s Response to the Report
PTA responded to the request of telecommunication firms. It stated that telecom companies are not supposed to cut down services by any means. They must comply and provide the facilities to the citizens just like other utility firms do. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is rigid in implementing the taxes. If telecom operators proceed with phone call load shedding or any additional connectivity cut down, PTA will take appropriate action against them.
Consequences of Not Obeying Federal Government
According to the PTA regulator, the telecommunication companies in Pakistan are governed under licensing rules and regulations issued by PTA. The conditions bound them to follow the implemented terms. If subscribers face any interruptions, including phone call load shedding or internet connectivity problems, the authorities have the right to take legal action against them. Some companies are already facing challenges imposed by PTA on them. For instance, PTA slammed a heavy fine on Jazz for poor quality services in January. The regulator has made it compulsory for every telecom company not to become a tax defaulter to save themselves from severe actions.