Punjab Govt Fooled its People, Will Impose Tax on Internet Again!

Punjab Government has decided to impose a 19.5% tax on mobile data usage across the province, despite the fact that it had clearly promised everyone that a earlier decision of taxes on internet had been withdrawn. If this report from “The News” is to be believed then a notification is awaited today that will impose 19.5% tax for mobile data usage in the province.

A source at Pakistan Revenue Authority confirmed ProPakistani that a revised SRO will be issued soon, hinting that PRA has taken a U-Turn and that it is now planning to tax mobile data usage. However, DSL users might be exempted from the taxes.

It may be recalled that Punjab Government had imposed 19.5% tax on internet services through an SRO on May 28th, 2015. Later on after protest from various stakeholders, Dr Ayesha Ghaus, Finance Minister Punjab, during her budget speech on June 13th, 2015 announced the reversal of Internet taxes and said that notification will be taken back shortly.

Punjab government has clearly taken a U-Turn on internet taxes

Dr. Ayesha, in her speech, had said that decision for reversal of internet taxes came after provincial cabinet’s approval.

Despite promises from Finance Minister, notification for reversal of taxes was never issued and PRA kept issuing verbal assurances even when cellular companies asked it for clarification on the issue.

Now, after almost two months of this whole ambiguous situation, Punjab government is looking to tax mobile data usage again. To save its face, PRA plans to exempt DSL users from internet tax which are less than 2 percent in the whole province.

This is clearly a U-Turn that Punjab government has taken from its earlier stance.

Just to mention, there is another 14% withholding tax imposed by the federal government, which will be collected separately by the operators, in addition to 19.5% GST imposed by the provinces.

In total, there is around 33.5 percent tax that internet users will have to pay ultimately, for a commodity that is considered a basic right in almost every country of the world.

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

  • Lanaat on this Government of Punjab. I pray they get the taste of poverty soon. Ins Sha Allah. If I get a chance I will spit on their face

    • I take it, you are talking about your prepaid phone balance. When you recharged your balance, you paid 14% Advance Income Tax. Till now GST was only charged on usage of that balance for calls, texts, mms, value added services etc. but not if used for data. Now every service on your mobile connection will be subject to Punjab sales tax/GST.

      • So i guess less than 50% of the balance will be used by the customer and the rest going to taxes…..


  • This is what happens on the very next day of Judicial commission report which made the PMLN feel more strengthened and the only real opposition as being weak. So for the sake of keeping the status quo politicians in check, please keep supporting PTI.

  • 25% on card recharge
    33% on mobile data

    Total = Rs 58 tax on every Rs 100.

    If it is true, NS please take remaining Rs 42 in your _ _ _

    • you forgot this habit of charging this much tax was started by zardari, nawaz is just strenghting it and taking it to a whole new level.

      • NS before election, “Yeh zardari tax hy, ham isse khatum karian gy”. So, you means to say that Zardari started it & now NS has right to impose more & more?

        • I am certainty not supporting it , I am just saying zardari wasn’t stopped by anyone back then , who would stop nawaz now?

      • Data in Sindh is taxable since July 2013; but they have exempted usage of upto 1500 Rs. per month per customer if the data speed is not above 2 Mbps. I have not heard of any sindh based customer complaining that they have been charged GST on data.

        Similarly data is taxable in KPK since they started collecting tax on services (July 2013), without any exemption.

  • Punjab government has clearly taken a U-Tuen and there’s nothing much one can do about liars

    In this Highlight please correct the spelling of U-Turn :P

  • Wtf all this in the name of majority dont pay taxes but what abt those who already pay tax…!!!!!

    • better to buy a turkish company from black money then reinvest in Pakistan as shareef.

  • I confirm it from PTCL authorities. RS 210 are imposed on RS 1250 unlimited evo wingle package.So the updated monthly charges will be 1460 :(

    • total is 1425. I recharged and paid 175 as WHT. from next month i will pay via PTCL office to get payment receipt to claim 175*12 = 2100 Rs tax claim while filing tax returns.

  • what i saw after reading that @aamir7 is crying too much the way he wrote the article. Still whole world knows the master of U turn.
    The news still not confirmed.The news I knew that they are going for wth tax or even if it is normal tax for all and the usage amount is 1500 per month. It is okay to tax those who can spend that much money on internet but Mr.Aamir Atta you can buy burnol from any shop in blue area or I will bring one for you.
    Earlier some youthias crying that young starters use internet but now they can’t argue that their little business run on mobile net. However these young youthias paying tax in kpk and sindh.
    Aamir is always burning about these taxes in punjab but kept his mouth shut on kpk and sindh from years.
    I still want him to answer that where were he when kpk government imposed the tax in 2013?
    Aren’t kpk government want to implement the same tax on internet and the matter is in high court?
    Double standard reporting or maybe paid.
    If you really care for the people then better let them know about other provinces reality.

    • teri soch bhi teri display pic waly ch…ye jesi hy
      qarz utaro mulk sanwaro me teri family se kisi ny apny jahaiz ka samaan diya tha?

  • Samir Bhai kindly do some research on what’s happening in other provinces so that people would get a broader picture of what’s unjust around

    • other provinces obviously will follow punjab after seeing positive response from patwareeeees, jinky pas haram ka paisa boht hy
      so jb punjab me issue nahi to obviously ppp will impose tax to get money in their accounts

    • Full tax on data in KPK and partial in Sindh already there since July 2013. Thanks to telcos, that has not been passed on due to court cases or otherwise. Even Federal Government was contemplating removing exemption on data services in the FED law. However, presumably, due to pressure from Ms. Anusha Rehman (Minister for IT), that proposal was not floored before National Assembly.

  • A little clarification:

    In the eye of PRA, data (excluding that used exclusively for educational purposes) is taxable since May 28, 2015. The promise made by the Punjab Finance Minster has no legal value, as it didn’t transpire in to a notification by the Punjab Government. The intent of the Punjab Government was always to tax the data, evident from the fact that the notification of May 28 was later published in the Punjab official gazette on June 12. So I don’t think there is any U turn on the issue, just that now Punjab has removed any hopes of reversal of tax.

    Under the relevant Punjab Sales Tax law, Internet/data services provided in Punjab are taxable from June 12, 2015, excluding those provided to educational institutions and under student packages (below 2 Mbps and Rs 1500 per month). What seems to have changed is that Punjab may give some additional exemption to DSL users, while targeting 3G cellular service based data. This tantamount to discrimination against cellular telephony industry compared to broadband ISPs, when both of them are providing the same service. I think cellular operators will have good grounds to go to courts if only 3G internet is subject to Punjab sales tax.

    • Jee zuban ki tu koi qadar nahi, aik politician sar-e-aam jooth bol sakta hay kyun kay iss ki koi legal value nahi hoti. And yes, its not U-Turn.
      Thank you for explaining.

  • I think it will be much better if propakistani writes an article about percentage of taxes on telecommunication in Pakistan.

  • ISPs should protest hard, but they will not protest because it is not harming their profit, they will collect this tax from end users (us), i miss the era when Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman was the IT minister… :-(

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