ISLAMABAD - The government is considering to extend last date for the biometric verification of mobile SIMs, as during the first 29 days only 31 million out of out of 103 million SIMs could be verified.

The government is certain that it would re-verify all the SIMs in the country, and to achieve this goal, there are many options under consideration and one of it is extension in the deadline, said an official on Sunday.

After the Peshawar school attack, the government, along with all five cellular operators, had started a nationwide biometric re-verification campaign of mobile SIM owners, through Nadra's data by setting 26 February as the benchmark.

However, almost ten days are left for the deadline to lapse but according to the official data only 31 million users got their SIMs re-verified with thumb impressions.

According to the record, in the first 29 days, 31.025 million cellular users were re-verified through biometric verification system, while during the last week, around 1.59 million daily verifications were done by the cellular companies and their designated dealers.

According to consumers and retailers, the government should first consider the challenges.

The cellular companies have spread the verification system throughout the country, but consumers believe all the cellular companies believe they are not enough.

"I have visited my cellular company office twice, but I found long queues every time; it is impossible for most of the people doing 9 to 5 jobs to get their SIMs verified," said Javed Akhtar, a consumer.

He said that retailers and franchisers do provide the service but they charge more and don't give consumers any kind of receipt, you never know, your SIM is actually verified or you are just cheated," Akhtar said.

Some of the consumers complained that retailers showed lack of interest in verifying SIMs.

"I tried to get my SIM verified at Super Market Islamabad, franchise, but after wasting my 20 minutes the shopkeeper told me to visit cellular company office as the SIM is not in my name," said an academician Prof. Hajira Masood.

On the other side, retailers and franchisers are also seemed least interested in the verification.

"One verification consumes around five minutes or more and customers hardly pay us Rs30, but at peak time, in five minutes we can earn much more by easy loads, or money transfer services," Sultan Agha, a retailer, said.

According to experts, unless free, 24 hours ample re-verification desks are not established on tehsil level, the biometric re-verification would remain a herculean task.