The government’s blockade of cellular services in as many as 15 urban centers of the country on Friday caused the cellular operators an estimated loss of Rs600 million, ProPakistani reported on Saturday.
According to the report, sources in at least two cellular operators told ProPakistani that they had suffered revenue losses of Rs600 million during the 14 hour blockade.
ProPakistani broke up the number into Rs180 million in revenue losses for the national exchequer in the form of federal excise duties and withholding taxes.
This is the second blockade in two months that the Ministry of Interior has instituted in the country.
In August, the government had ordered a shut down of cellular services on the eve of Eid. That 15 hour blockage, industry sources told The Express Tribune, had cost the telcos as much as Rs3 billion in losses.
As a result, the national exchequer lost almost half a billion rupees in revenue between the night of August 19 and 20. The estimated loss for both the closures raises the figure closer to one billion rupees.
Rehman Malik offered explanations for the closures on both occasions as security risk.
Militants use remote-controlled bombs detonated by cell phones, this was an unfortunate but necessary step to take, Malik had said of the August blockade.
More in BusinessFrance pledges Rs246m for health programme