In Pakistan, telecom providers give out free SIMs (subscriber identity modules) and people also tend to have more of them than needed, leading to scores of SIMs not being used and kept idle.
This issue has been constant and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken notice of the situation, announcing a fine of Rs200 on people who haven't used their SIMs for a period of six months.
Effective from January 1, 2024, cellular mobile operators in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) can levy a "SIM Disowning Charge up to Rs200 on SIMs having a retention period of less than six months".
To check the status of registered SIMs, consumers can use the following methods:
Furthermore, the PTA advised consumers to disown or return unnecessary SIMs free of charge by December 31, 2023.
"By doing so, consumers can avoid SIM disowning charges and contribute towards responsible usage of SIMs," the telecommunication authority said in its statement.
A one-time waiver against the SIM disowning charge will be granted in cases of illegal SIM issuance without the knowledge or consent of the consumer, the body said.
"With this decision, the PTA stays committed to national safety and security while ensuring uninterrupted quality services to all telecom consumers," it added.
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