THE cost for overseas Pakistanis for calling Pakistani landlines and cellphones has increased by 300 to 800 per cent with effect from Oct 1, depending on the country and network.

This big increase is a result of the PTA’s decision to implement the controversial International Clearing House (ICH). This move, which is claimed to reduce illegal calls to Pakistan, has resulted in tremendous penalty for overseas Pakistanis for calling their families and friends in Pakistan.

Call charges from the UK to Pakistan have already been increased from three to six cents per minute to as high as up to 24 cents per minute. In comparison, charges for neighbouring countries India, China and Bangladesh are one penny to six pence per minute depending on the network.

According to media reports, monthly incoming international traffic to Pakistan is 1.5 billion minutes per month, which means overseas Pakistanis will have to pay extra $120-150 million to the PTA for calling their family back home.

During the current economic downturn in Pakistan, overseas Pakistanis will also be discouraged from sending remittances and investing in Pakistan.

It should be noted that overseas Pakistanis play a very important role in the country’s economy by remitting billions of dollars every year, and the PTA’s decision to penalise them should be taken back with immediate effect.

IRFAN HUSSAIN London

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Comments (14)

sal
October 4, 2012 11:35 am
I only use Skype which costs me ?0. Time to switch. The resulting lack of calls could force PTA hand.
Khan
October 4, 2012 4:48 am
world is becoming global village and our looter government is taking it far away from rest of the world. Now no one will call to Pakistan at this rate. people will switched back to internet messengers...... one thing more first they were looting local people now their new target is overseas Pakistani.....
jalind desai
October 4, 2012 4:03 pm
to avoid bogus calling this is required
kazim
October 5, 2012 11:35 am
I agree with Irfan. The conern authorities should intervene and urge PTA to take back his decision immediately
Razzaq
October 4, 2012 6:48 pm
I don't laugh, I cry.
Zishi
October 4, 2012 8:39 am
The incompetent government has come up with another new idea to rip people off. This time it's the overseas Pakistanis. Take this back PTA and let people stay in close contact with their families in Pakistan like Indians and Chinese. I don't understand how people in PTA think, how can they even increase it by 700 percent all of a sudden.. 700 Percent!!!... can only happen in Pakistan.
Zishi
October 4, 2012 8:43 am
are they left with any choice? people will take alternatives or call less which will result in slow disintegration over the years.
Mu
October 4, 2012 9:29 am
We are facing same problem in UAE as well.Why government of Pakistan is not recognizing the major contribution of overseas Pakistanis to the economy of their homeland through their foreign exchange remittances? This controversial extra charging move of PTA for international calls should be reversed immediatly.
Ash
October 4, 2012 9:32 am
This is ridiculous. I call my parents back in Karachi every other day and I am not sure why I am being penalized for this! PTA wake up and do some sensible stuff!!!!
Praveen
October 4, 2012 11:43 pm
This is really annoying. I was calling home for free via http://talkal.co.uk, but they have now taken off Pakistan due to this price rise.
Muhammad Alvi
October 4, 2012 2:08 pm
Pakistani government cannot think right. What they are trying to do in this case is try to generat more revenue. They cannot think that this is not right and will actually result in loss of revenue. I advise everybody to use skype or email.
Gerry D'Cunha
October 4, 2012 7:47 am
overseas pakistanis in uk who send billions of pounds sterlings to their country are being penalise to call their loved ones in pakistan. this should stopped immediately or else uk pakistanis would take alternative steps.
Salman
October 4, 2012 5:47 pm
Shame on you Govt of Pakistan for now ripping off Overseas Pakistanis in the name of phone surcharge. In US the phone Companies are laughing on this act. Maybe because of this surcharge they want to cover there economy deficit with Pennies, Cents, etc.
Ahmed j
October 4, 2012 10:16 am
This government is most incompetent. Rates are reduced everywhere to improve trade and commerce and PTA and the government are inclined to destroy everything. All global business in the west are looking for call centers in India as they find economical to run such ventures. Call rates for India were always lower than Pakistan but with this sudden increase has really put the Pakistani market in turmoil. This increase will have a very negative effect on already crumbling economy. People laugh at our policy makers. Its a shame.
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