DUSHANBE, August 17, Asia-Plus -- Following the Antimonopoly Agency’s ruling the Ministry of Communications has lowered fixed-line payments by time for the public by 40 percent.    

According to the source, since August 1, the payment for fixed-line call by minute for the public has been 0.012 Somoni against the previous 0.02 Somoni.  The payment by time for enterprises and organizations remains the same – 0.03 Somoni per minute.   

Besides, now the first 30 seconds of the fixed-line call are free of charge,” the source said, noting that subscription payment remains the same – 1.30 Somoni per month.   

According to information from the antimonopoly commission, the ruling has been passed after inspection of the activity of the open joint-stock company (OJSC) “Tajiktelecom”, the state-owned national telecommunications operator of Tajikistan, in the first half-year of 2006.  

“We have also corrected issues related to privileged persons, and their rights have been completely restored in accordance with the country’s legislation,” said the source, “After repeat analysis our specialists have come to a conclusion that cancellation of telecommunications privileges was absolutely unfounded.”  The Asia-Plus interlocutor noted that the inspected documents did not have any legally founded mechanisms of canceling privileges.  

According to the source, the OJSC “Tajiktelecom” should return money unfoundedly collected from privileged persons since May 1. 

According to figures provided by the State Committee for Statistics, Tajikistan’s fixed-line network has 275,600 telephone numbers.  The public accounts for 87 percent of them.