In an effort to ensure the responsible usage of mobile SIMs, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that citizens looking to disown their SIM cards will be charged Rs. 200 apiece from next year.

The new charge will be applicable from January 1 across the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. It will be levied on all SIM cards under a customer’s use for less than six months. The service to return or disown the unused SIM cards is available till December 31.

In a statement, PTA said, “With this decision, the PTA stays committed to national safety and security while ensuring uninterrupted quality services to all telecom consumers”.


The step has been taken in light of an initiative that started in 2016, addressing the concerns of rampant distribution of free SIM cards by mobile operators and their potential misuse.

A survey from PTA highlights that some users knowingly or unknowingly hand over their SIMs to unauthorized people, for monetary benefits. These SIMs, once abandoned by the user, lead to disconnection. Such users then frequently acquire new SIMs from different operators, hence the cycle continues.

Mobile users can verify the status of SIMs registered under their Comput­erised National Identity Card (CNIC) by going to the web address “” or by SMSing their CNIC number to 668.

A one-time wai­ver will apply in cases where illegal SIMs are iss­ued without the knowledge or consent of consumers.

PTA believes fraudsters exploit the practice of free SIM disowning, as they conveniently get new ones after disowning the old ones.

However, PTA also stressed that mobile firms should develop a mechanism to address the concerns of consumers with illegally issued SIMs registered under their CNICs, as these customers should not bear the cost of disowning such SIMs.