International Clearing House Costs Pakistan Rs 400b-Miss Anush Rehman
The International Clearing House (ICH), established during the time of PPP Government cost the country almost Rs 400 billion, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said.
Miss Anusha Rehman informed the senate on Wednesday that:
[pull_quote_center]“Legal traffic that stood at around two billion minutes per month before introduction of ICH regime, dropped to around 400 million minutes per month by September 2014. Taking the 2 billion minutes as benchmark, ICH regime caused a loss of around 45.4 billion international call minutes to telecom sector, translating into around loss of Rs 400 billion.”[/pull_quote_center]
While mentioning the reason for abolition of ICH by the present Government, Miss Anusha Rehman informed that:
[pull_quote_center]“After the removal of ICH the present traffic of calls landing in the country was recorded as 852 million minutes that is more than double of the figure recorded when the ICH was intact.”[/pull_quote_center]
The Minister also discussed in detail the significance of this step taken by the Government and said:
[pull_quote_center]“The regime, a consortium of Long Distance International (LDI) operators formed to terminate all international traffic through a single gateway exchange at a fixed rate of US Cent 8.8 per month, was introduced by previous government in August 2012. The ICH policy created so many troubles for the country as the arrangement was illegal. To solve this, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted a high level Steering Committee to look into the issue of grey traffic which determined the ICH regime to be one of the main causes behind increase in grey traffic. And finally ICH policy was removed and the decision also was recommended by Pakistan Telecom Authority.”[/pull_quote_center]