BEIRUT: Lebanon Monday slashed by up to 50 percent the price of local and international phone calls made through prepaid cards issued by the state-run telecom provider Ogero.
“On March 27, 2014, I issued a decision ... to reduce the price of phone calls made through the prepaid cards Telecarte and Kalam by 50 percent for land line calls and 30 percent for cellular phone calls,” Telecoms Minister Butros Harb told reporters during a news conference.
People using the cards will now pay LL50 instead of LL100 for every minute of call time from a landline and LL100 instead of LL200 from a mobile line.
As for international calls, users will now pay LL300 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and LL200 for the rest of the day, a reduction of 50 percent.
Prices will be adjusted starting April 1 as per Harb's decision, his first since his appointment last month.
“This will facilitate communications and better serve citizens, particularly low-income individuals such as students, workers, and users of public phone booths and domestic workers,” he said.
Harb said the move would also revive the prepaid cards market, which he said had been frozen for the past three years.
“It would also revitalize the process of selling and purchasing these prepaid cards after a three-year freeze in sales, which affected [Treasury] revenues,” he said, noting that the Treasury was losing $110 million annually as a result of the decline in sales of prepaid cards.