Pakistani Websites Blackout in Protest against Internet Taxes

Pakistani bloggers and internet companies today decided to blackout their websites in protest against the recently imposed taxes by the Punjab Government on internet services, according to a joint statement issued by digital publishers of Pakistan at a press conference in Lahore.

Punjab government – through an SRO – imposed this week a whopping 19.5% tax on all kinds of internet usage for those with Rs. 1,500 or above monthly bills or 2Mbps and above broadband speeds.

This tax is imposed on all kinds of internet services in Punjab including 3G, 4G, DSL, EVDO, fiber etc. Other provinces and centre (Islamabad) are likely to follow the suite.

Digital publishers, who have support from cellular mobile operators, banks, consumer associations, PASHA and ISPAK along with civil society, said that the country’s top websites are already running black home-screens in protest against taxes on internet.

How to Join Digital Blackout Campaign to Block Internet Taxes?

This country-wide internet blackout campaign is likely to be supported and acted upon by thousands of Pakistani websites and bloggers who have demanded immediate withdrawal of taxes on internet.

According to a joint statement from digital publishers, this tax by the Punjab Government on internet is going to hamper the current 3G/4G uptake that has reached 15 million subscriptions in just one year of 3G/4G launch.

After several delays – spanning many years – Pakistan auctioned 3G and 4G licenses last year and telecom operators invested $1.1 billion on spectrum auction only. Several hundred million dollars were also spent on network up-gradation, however, telecom operators – in a joint statement earlier this week – said that their future investments on network rollout and upcoming spectrum auction is conditional with reversal of this tax.

Punjab is likely to collect around Rs. 3 billion in taxes from the sector this year, however, corresponding negative growth on internet uptake due to these taxes will cause the national economy an estimated loss of Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 billion in five years (Reference PLUM research on Pakistan).

Studies show that 10 percent uptake in broadband subscriptions increases national GDP by 1.5% and slowness of internet uptake due to these taxes is only going to harm the already struggling economy of Pakistan.

Punjab government, on one side, is making efforts for digitization of the province through several initiatives from PITB and distribution of several hundred thousands of laptops each year, while on the other side it is imposing taxes on internet to block the growth and academic potential of the youth.

New taxes are also going to block development work in e-education, e-health and e-banking sectors.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Aamir bhai what exactly this blackout means? I visited, Pasha and ISPAK websites and didn’t say any such thing. Also no such thing observed uptil now on ProPaksitani website.

    • Nothing like that, its just a false reporting, biased person do such ironies everyday.

        • jhot ka jawab dain gay or dete rahen gay.aese chalnay nahi dain gay jo inteshar or jhoot saý mulk ka naam khrab kerty hain

          • apka jo jhut pakra gaya hai pehle uska jawab to dain bad kisi aur k jhut per baat kijye ga.

    • Click on how to ‘join the blackout…… ‘. Basically it will activate the pop up that shows the protest aging the imposition of tax.

  • Aamir gone mad! He is now forcing others to blackout w/ false reporting. Shame.go aamir go.

    • khud bhi kray na blackout
      khud false propaganda kerne k liye bethay hain

  • To fight w/ tax, you started doing this? Allowed misleading ads???again shame on you.

    • American ghulam is our Army only. bitter truth which no one accept.
      political leaderships had never ever good relations with US

      • Brother! I think you have misconceptions about our army. All the decisions are taken by the government, not the army. For example, Turkey sent soldiers to Burma because of the government, not due to the army. I guarantee our soldiers are ready to fight with anyone. It’s my personal opinion that we are total 154 Islamic countries, if we send only 100 soldiers to Burma we will have 15400 soldiers and the problem will be solved in no time. It’s clear that the USA has full control over the most of the Islamic countries. If it were not the case, then our army would convert the US drones into ashes because our government scares the USA, so it isn’t possible.

  • Bhai were you living under a rock for the past year? Sindh & KPK already had this tax in effect since July last year. It’s Punjab who has followed suit, not the other way around.

  • Fuck pakistani government if you cant make internet cheaper so please dont make it expensive and In U.K my family having 105Mbps connection for 30 pounds and in Pk i am paying nearly 40 pounds for 8Mbps … simply FUCK you guys….

    • Uk main apki family pura ta daiti hy poch laina kabi , Pakistan main kon kitna tax daita hy sabko pata ! Taxes ky bgair koi b mulak progress nahe kr sakta !

      • Fuck this income tax as well. Dumb governments can not figure out how to increase its own revenue resources instead of consistently increasing previous taxes and introducing newer ones.

        • You’re right!! The government has no common sense for generating revenue. There are an unlimited ways to generate. Only 0.57% people pay income tax in Pakistan, the government has vowed not to spend money on income tax, just sucking money from the poor’s blood.

          • This is the only government who is doing something for tourism, This country must be 100% free from terrorism if we want tourism and they government is doing by zarb-e-azab, And people doesn’t give text but business like us and job persons have to give tax and the main and the biggest reason responsible for every trouble we are facing these days, tourism is the easiest way to earn and require good transportation and its important and then you guys says its waste of money so people couldn’t ne satisfied…. i know this government is not good … agreed but i force you to agree its the best yet !! and any government in past some year haven’t done taht much as they had did… Excpet ” MUSHARAF “

            • Brother! Just tell me, Is India free from terrorism? The answer is NO! It’s a game of attention. Why does the government keep the budget of education at the lowest level? Because the government doesn’t want the public from being educated. The more the people educate, the more knowledge they will have about the government. I give you a real example, a rich person has a servant and the servant has a son, live in the same house. The rich person can easily afford the education expenditure of the boy. But he doesn’t want? Why? Because he thinks if I make him educated, who will be my next servant? The same goes for the government. By the way, blaming the governemtn has no gain because we all know the government will be same as per deeds of the people of the nation.

              • Disagree w/ your points. But also agree to your last point.

                I done metriculation from a govt school, fee was 7 rupees per month, that is 84 rupees per year. So, you blame govt? Why dont yiu blame yourself to not sending your child to school? Because your mind is poluted towards richness. You wanna show people that you can afford beacon house. If you have less money to afford high end school system you will simply not send your child to a govt school because it is against you grace.

                Well, I am proud that I studied in a govt school andbI am proud i paid 7 rupees fee there. I am glad I wasn’t there in root systems etc. Today I am glad i earn 200K per month.

                • My child!!! LOL!!! I’m just a pre-medical student, Uncle!!. I’ve been also a student of government school (FG) from 1 to 10th. Now, I’m a student of APSACS at a college level. It was all my opinion!! I’m wrong!! I accept!!

  • ‏عوام ن لیگ کے پیش کئے ہوئے بجٹ سے اتنی تنگ آگئی کہ منڈی بہاؤالدین اور گلگت بلتستان میں شیر پر ٹھپے لگا کر اپنا غصہ نکالا ???

    • Then aamir ko ar par lag jaen gy k us ki wja sy sb hua… same imran khan ki trah. Kambkht ny Pakistan ky 5 mahiny zaya krwaye apni jhoti ana ky lye

  • Why so much hatred for Aamir? Either you lot are jealous of him or you are just trying to provoke him to take some action so that you all can bash him again. What he is doing is great. I do not want to see him as our current TV Lifafa journalists.

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