Telcos Didn’t Invest Billions on 3G/4G for Lahore to Tax the Internet

Just an year ago, Pakistani government was in process of convincing telecom operators to participate in 3G/4G auction by saying that government will go to any level to support internet, technology and the industry.

We know that at least one operator was about to back-down from auction when Dr. Ismail Shah had to go an extra mile in convincing operators to remain part of the auction. Various changes in Information Memorandum and other facilitations were arranged just to get the auction successful.

Telecom companies, on the words of Pakistani government, invested more than $1.1 billion in 3G/4G spectrum and more in the infrastructure to equip Pakistan with high-speed wireless internet.

Now, with-in one year, when telcos — after all the investment — have stretched their 3G networks to more than one third of their total coverage (on average, in total), and more than 15 million users have started using 3G, Punjab government has ridiculed all the promises that the government of Pakistan did with the operators.

Operators didn’t invest billions so that data users in Pakistan are quadrupled with-in one year and then government could tax 3G/4G data services at once

Government has shown its back, scattered the trust, sabotaged the multi-billion dollar internet industry and killed the motivation of aspiring youth for just few billion rupees that it is likely to make by taxing the internet in the province.

Yes, Pakistani government lied with the telecom operators by pretending that they are nice people wanting the county to grow and that they will support the investment.

They played with international investors exactly when these operators beat all expectations and helped broadband subscriptions to grow from mere 3.4 million to double in just six months and over 19 million in just one year; this is when Punjab imposed 19.5% tax on internet usage including DSL, 3G, 4G or any kind of internet over 2Mbps.

Also Read: Punjab Slaps 3G/4G, Imposes 19.5% Taxes on Internet Usage

We urge Anusha Rehman (Minister for State for Telecom and IT) of the ruling party to recall her colleagues in Punjab of the promises that her government made with the telecom operators and withdraw the taxes, at once.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • jab is qoom ne vote hi aise logo ko diya hai , to is mulk ka bhi wohi baney ga jo qoom khud banwana chah rahi hia

  • Telcos should return the 3G/4G spectrum to Govt.
    “Nahin bhai nahin chahiay…. apnay pass hi rakh lo…”

  • Noonies are coming brace your self…
    BTW why these Telcos are crying all tax will be shifted to Users/Subscribers ultimately Pain is for end user as always.

  • It is already imposed in KPK/Sindh. So why now crying so much. When imposed in Punjab, all are crying suddenly. Biased behavior. Too much bad for unity Pakistan

    • KPK and Sindh don’t tax the mobile internet. Any further comments having KPK in the body will be marked as SPAM. I simply can’t respond to every such comment.

      • Dear Amir it does atleast Sindh. I can show you my warid bill which charge sales tax for LTE service.

      • I am From Nowshera KPK and i am paying this tax on my 4mb dsl package for more than a year now… but there is no tax on 3g or 4g services, hope this will help all those who are outside kpk…

  • Aamir bhai kuch baat hazam nahi horahi, jab already sab jagah hai tu Punjab main lag jana itna bada issue kyun ban raha hai!!

    • Mobile internet par kisi bhi jagah taxes pay nahi ho rahay… please app bhi check kar lain with your friends and family in Sindh or KPK.

      • Acha may be I am not too sure about mobile internet here in Karachi but other DSL/Wimax wagera pe tu for sure hai. I am paying that for long time now.

        • Kyun app mobile internet use nahi kartay? Ya koi friend apka — kisi say bhi poch lain. Mobile Data isn’t taxed.

            • This 1500 wali clause is for Punjab only. Sindh and KPK tax the broadband in a whole, no matter what bills or speed is offered.

              And moreover, just as a clarification, mobile internet (3G/4G) is of more than 2Mbps speeds, so yes its taxable, but not taxed in KPK and Sindh.

              • Aamir bhai 1500 wali clause was for Sindh also at-least this is what I was told by PTCL guys that choosing any package above 1500 would mean 19-20% tax and is applied by Sindh government. And that is around 1-1.5 years old thing which I am sharing.

                • Sir, simple si baat hay, mobile data pay tax nahi hay Sindh ya Karachi main… Punjab main hoga, aur agar Punjab main hota hay tu Sindh bhi follow kar sakta hay.

        • bhai aap pay kar rahay ho tou iska matlab hai baaqi dunya bhi pay karay? u should speak out against it

          • nahi bhai mera maqsand hargiz nahi ke main de raha hon tu sab dain :-) infact I am really against it. Magar yeh tu banda keh sakta hai na ke hum awaz uta rahe hain tu overall sab ke liye uthaeen why only for once specific province.

  • Telcos should shut 3G/4G services instantly. People were surviving and living before this as well.

    • No, they should put a lifetime ban on your electricity, cause you will survive without it too!

  • :(
    They are killing everything and instead, giving us useless Metros which we’ll be in debt to forever. Kya cht yapa hai? Anyone who still justifies such insanity needs to have their head checked.

  • Taxation of data will benefit telcos where they can adjust against input tax. We should not be making propagandas of everything and should contribute positively

  • While I may agree that the taxation should be lowered, this article raises a point-less logic. Was this promised that the internet would remain tax-free if the auction goes successful? If not, and operators wanted it to be, they could have made it a clause before agreeing to participate in the auction.

  • This is shareef khandan for all the paindus who argue in support of it.
    They have looted the kitty for becoming billionaires and do money laundering to whiten this black money. At the same time their friends and other relatives are also doing the looting.
    It’s the awam who have to pay by increased taxes to pay off international debt.

  • let me explain something
    pehli bat k punjab ma tax 3g or 4g or dsl services pay laga hai.kpk and sindh main only broadband services per 2 saal say liya ja raha hai or tab 3g or 4g aa rahay thay abi.or aamir sahab ko saanp soong gya tha tab koi report nahi likhi.
    3g or 4g ka 75 % user punjab main hai or ye tax 1500+ ki amount pay hai.
    maximum 30 % users 1500 say uper 3g or 4g use kerty hain or uska 20 % sy ziada punjab main hai to abi ye tax kpk ya sindh jider 5 % hardly user hoga total ka 1500 + wala to irrelevant hai k hope so lag jae ga or kpk ki news admin bhag jae ga.
    samaj nahi ati pehle punjab pay chalangen laga rha tha or ab lahore lay aya.jub k purpose solely political motivation hai.
    mera sawal ye hai k agar masla internet pay tax ka hai to propak 2013 main kider tha jub ye pehle start hua.ab chalangen laga rha k log gov k against ye news nhi thi iske liye or aaj aag lag gae hai. or ab khud ko tasali dy rha k punjab main 3g or 4g py b hai.
    baray professional ho to batao kpk or sindh main kitna user 3g or 4g ka jo 1500 say uper net use kerty or punjab main kitne.
    is tara logo ko bewkoof bnanay say koi 60 saal ka nojwaan PM nahi banay ga. as i know admin very well

    • You do not know when to shut up. Anyway, Nangi league kay pillay sab yehi karty hein jo tu kar raha hai.
      Putting tax on DSL service is different than withdrawing tax exemption from internet/data services. In absence of formal education, you are not going to understand this taxation point. Please do not put your single brain cell to hard labor. They are already busy in helping you grow a pair which you still lack.

      • I am not Nangi(Reham) ka pilla (Imran) what you think.
        anyway I usually do not argue with brainless youthias
        so better f*** off

    • 3G/ 4G will taxed for 100% of the population because speeds are greater than 2Mbps. The Rs 1500 clause is irrelevant in this case.

      • read it again it is if internet speed is 2mbps and you are using package of 1500 or more. Both the things are necessary for example on 1mbps student ptcl package their will be no tax but you will know that the monthly bill is more than 1500 rs

        • From Propakistani:
          “With this, over 56 percent population of Pakistan will be liable to pay
          service taxes on internet usage for 3G, 4G, broadband, EVO or anything
          internet communication with speeds exceeding 2Mbps or/and if the monthly
          bill for their service exceeds Rs. 1,500 per month.”

  • As you already told in your last post that all provinces have applied this tax.
    Your own favorite political has also applied this tax in KPK
    So stop teasing only Punjab and try to become unbiased while writing posts.
    Or otherwise stop blogging.

    And I am not in favor of this tax, no such tax should be applied in any province.

    • exactly my thoughts why highlight the wrong of someone who you clearly hate and hide the wrong of ones you love clearly.
      A blogger should not look like to be biased and you do i am sorry.

  • This article is politically motivated i am sorry but i must say this. Internet is not our basic need guys come on. Instead of highly taxing food comodities internet was the best option and come on our country is in crisis we will need to tax many things for years . Pakistan is not the first country doing things like these in the time of crisis.
    And Yes we never heard anything on this site when sindh and kpk imposed taxes on dsl and keep in mind in kpk where i belong from 95% internet users are using dsl and 1 and half year ago when their was no 3g it is useless to say that tax was super hurting everyone in kpk and it is hurting them now too and me my bill is more 2k now before PTi govrnment it used to be uder 1800 but i was happy for it i thought this money will be used for our good hopefully.
    I have recently voted PTI in the local election but i am not biased this is not a new thing and this is not cheating. Yes you can say that it would be better if they did not impose this tax.

    • I’d be fine with the tax if it wasn’t as steep as 19.5%
      That is 1/5th the total cost.

  • Telcos should not be whining. In cohorts with Ishaq Darlar, they kept any foreigner from bidding for 3/4 G. They have made billions by selling unregistered sims. They formed a cartel called ICH. They are criminals who colluded during 3/4 G auction to keep offers at base prices. They got loan from us to pay our license fees, instead of bringing in foreign exchange. They delayed payments on LIBOR rate which was shady and corrupt at that time, Some of them got tax exemption for multiple years. They stayed silent when USF was misused to fill pockets. They stole taxes for years. The list is really long.
    When they steal balance of their customers, its ok with them. But if govt. steals from customers, they suffer piles. What a circus.

  • No need to worry, Internet services are already taxed @ 19.5% on 3G and 4G in Punjab and whole Pakistan. Because if you subscribe an Internet bucket the tax of 19.5% is deducted even though it should not be deducted in Punjab. But as per this SRO it does not effect the existing tariff and customers because telecos are already charging that tax on internet in Punjab and whole country.

  • I feel ashamed that once I was a part of ProPakistani.PK. This blog has moved from tech to politics and now creating a divide between Pakistanis by using deceptive Titles. Shame on @aamir7:disqus.

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