SMS service 8171 won’t be charged anymore: Sania Nishtar

The government has removed the charges for messaging on 8171, the SMS service to register for the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

This was announced by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar on Wednesday.

The programme aims to help poor people as the country continues to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Nishtar had earlier conveyed that people could register by first SMSing their CNIC number to 8171 to check their eligibility status.

This SMS, however, was not free and charged Rs1 plus tax. This means that every SMS sent cut Rs1 to Rs1.5 from their mobile balance.

The poverty alleviation division had said it had received around 43 million SMSes so far. This means that more than Rs60 million had been earned from it. The division, however, later clarified that the they haven’t received that amount as it just a service charge. The money reportedly went to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

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