Government Bans 60,000 Retailers from Selling SIMs
As the process of re-verifying SIMs through Biometric Verification System (BVS) has started, government has strictly banned 60,000 retailers and temporary outlets from selling new (pre-paid) SIMs till mid of April, 2015.
The operators’ customer service centers and the franchises, about 1,500 in number all over the country, will, however, continue issuing new pre-paid SIMs under BVS.
[blockquote cite=”PTA Official”] National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had been directed not to entertain any ‘new request’ from any retailer of the operators to verify new SIMs through BVS to check issuance of new prepaid SIMs at retail level till April 13, this year. In case some retailers indulge in issuing new connections without the knowledge of their operator the Nadra check will thwart it.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), along with PTA, will carry out joint technical audit of the SIMs re-verification. After the expiry of the deadline, if any non-BVS verified SIM is found or reported to be operating, the respective mobile phone operator will be held responsible.
In order to discourage unnecessary re-verification attempts, a re-verification fee of Rs10 per CNIC will be charged from the subscribers. Nadra re-verification fee would be Rs10 per BVS transaction.
The cellular industry has always been cooperative with the government; it has so far invested $25 million on the provision of around 60,000 BVS devices and (another) Rs22 billion on previous mandatory verification processes with another significant amount to be spent on this re-verification exercise to enhance the availability of these BVS devices across Pakistan.