Telcos to Lose Millions Due to Punjab’s Unclear Stance on Taxes

Mobile phone companies are fearing to absorb millions of loss in revenues due to Punjab Government’s unclear direction on 19.5% general sales tax on internet services, we have checked with sources.

Punjab Government had imposed 19.5 percent tax on internet services through an SRO on May 28th, 2015. This tax was later withdrawn during the budget speech by Dr Ayesha Ghaus, Finance Minister Punjab on the floor of the provincial house.

However, an official notification from Punjab Revenue Authority is still awaited that will officially going to nullify the SRO issued to May 28th, 2015.

Cellular companies are bound to submit their monthly returns on 21st of every month and according to a commercial chief of a cellular company, mobile phone companies will have to submit the taxes on internet on 21st of this month (for the month of June) as Punjab Revenue Authority hasn’t issued any official revocation orders for May 28th SRO as of yet.

Not to mention, mobile phone companies, based on Dr. Ayesha Ghaus’s budget speech, didn’t collect the mentioned tax from customers. Which means, if official notification isn’t received, they will have to bear the loss by giving away tax money from their pockets.

A notification has to be nullified with a follow-up notification, officially issued by the concerned authority

Dr. Ayesha, when asked by The News, said that no one should be worried about the tax as cabinet has approved revoking of the 19.5 percent GST on data usage.

A similar response was recorded by PRA Chief Dr Raheel Siddique, however, both the officials didn’t clarify that when revocation orders for internet taxes will be issued. Dr. Raheel, while advising telecom companies to contact PRA in case of any ambiguity, decided not to comment on when his authority will issue a official notification on the matter.

It won’t be out of place to mention that an SRO has to be nullified with a follow-up SRO, officially issued by the concerned authority or any higher body (in hierarchy) of the the specific authority.

Verbal withdrawal of an order, even on the floor of the house, mean legally nothing.

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