Major relief for mobile users


Staff Reporter


Mobile phone service providers have started the implementation of a Supreme Court order to remove service/maintenance charges on pre-paid cellular scratch cards, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson Khurram Mehran told media on Monday.
On a scratch card of Rs100, a user will now receive a top-up of Rs88.9 instead of Rs76.94.
Mehran said that in a earlier hearing this year, the apex court had told mobile phone service providers that they could apply a 12.5 per cent withholding tax. However, the court had told them to abolish the 10 pc administrative/service charges.
Last year, the then chief justice Nisar had taken a suo motu notice on public complaints that an unreasonable and high amount of tax/other charges were being deducted from the topping up balance through easy load and calling cards, besides taxing the calls.
Justice Nisar had asked whether deduction of Rs40 on every scratch card of Rs100 was not exploitation and observed that the matter involved public interest. During one of the hearings, the court was told that the state had suffered a loss of about Rs90 billion since the issuance of the suspension order.