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


  • khasif

    koi sharam hoti hai koi hayaa hoti hai koi grace hoti hai beghairto?

  • Ch Usman

    yar kya bnay ga iss mulk ka

    • Muhammad Abrar Naeem

      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

      • Jahangir

        Vote in logon ko nahi diya tha, ye dhandli se aye hain :(

  • Umz

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

    • SBFarooq

      Telcos would not bat an eye and forward the push to the consumer to mull over..

  • DJ

    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.

    • Umz

      Definitely pain is for end users. But end users will curtail their usage, and Return Per User (RPU), a.k.a Profit, will reduce for the Telcos. Plus, all the major private data centers are in Lahore. Their expenses will go up by 20% suddenly, therefore hitting their business.

      • DJ

        you are right here but other point to be noted as well that all other provinces are charging this TAX and now punjab applied this so telcos cried now because their big subscriber base is in Punjab ..
        Wasiye bi RWP-ISB Metro kay paisye Govt. kaisye porye karye gi ;)

        • ImranG

          Wrong!
          No other province is charging tax on 3G/4G internet services.

          • DJ

            you need to check your records :) i am quite sure about it .. plz

          • MS

            The tax has already been there since years but there was an blanket exemption. That exemption was revised capping tax free services to PKR 1500 monthly charges in Sindh and KPK back in July 2014. Punjab has followed suit only now.

            • MS

              The tax is applicable on Data/Internet services. What media is used (3G/DSL/WiMax) doesn’t matter.

            • asher

              Besharmi Bhaigairti dono ek hain, chahe jo bhe kare..
              sindh kpk kareyga to punjab peeche Q rahe,. ye nai k unhe bhe roka jaye.. koi sharam koi haya ?

  • Zahid Iqbal

    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

    • aamir7

      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.

      • Muhammad Fahim Suriya

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

        • aamir7

          please go ahead and show me in private. email me at aamir at propakistani dot com.

      • 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…

  • Muhammad Bilal

    Aur do shair ko vote :3 Lanat hai BC inn ganjon par!

  • KMQ

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

    • aamir7

      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.

      • KMQ

        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.

        • aamir7

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

          • KMQ

            Mobile internet use hota hai but 1500 wala koi package nahi.

            • aamir7

              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.

              • KMQ

                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.

                • aamir7

                  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.

                  • Citizen

                    Aamir, you seems to be retarded and exhausted on this post. You are uselessly creating noise.

                    • KMQ

                      its okay yaar, ab is tarah ke tax sun kar frustration tu banti hai bhai.

                  • KMQ

                    Sir simple si baat agayi samajh main mere :-) Thank you for your time..

        • kh.asif

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

          • KMQ

            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.

  • tabishqazi

    ON Tax

  • Boyesa

    Sher internet kaah gaya :p

  • Naved Ahmed

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

    • anas qamar

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

  • Ahmed

    :(
    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.

  • Rahat

    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

  • Owaeis

    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.

  • akram

    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.

  • Manii

    Things like these make me sad and feel there is no hope for this country

  • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

    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 tax.jo 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 hon.tab 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

    • Geekpk

      ghalib film dek ja kay bc.

      • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

        apke ghar aa k na dekh lu

    • em back

      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.

      • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

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

    • Mainichi

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

      • shahid ali

        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

        • Mainichi

          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.”

  • Salman Qamar

    Mubarik Hoooo.

  • G

    Lahories should fcuk this Nawaz cockroach!

  • Zaki Uddin

    why they don’t put zarai tax?

  • Umar Shahzad

    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.

    • shahid ali

      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.

  • anas qamar

    Why remove the tax only from Punjab? I am talking about the 2 mbps+ Dsl tax

  • shahid ali

    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.

    • Mainichi

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

  • majoon

    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.

  • Syed Zuhair Khalid

    what about tax on internet for users in islamabad?

  • XeonFX

    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.

  • Zubair Gu

    phir khety hain Fauj bohat zalim hai blah blah blah

  • 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.

    • Zaki Uddin

      what? O.O

    • Danish

      BAAGHI…..?

  • Faiq

    While I agree with the article, the tone and style article is written in is rubbish.