Punjab Took U-Turn on Internet Taxes and they Aren’t Even Accepting this!

As we all know that Punjab had agreed to withdraw internet taxes that it had imposed on May 28th, 2015 but now as they have backtracked from their earlier commitment, government says that internet taxes were never withdrawn in the first place so its not a U-turn.

Dr Raheel Siddique, Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority, while speaking with Dawn said that government has decided in principle to impose 19.5pc tax on Internet use by cell phone users. However, keeping in view education and research aspect, the government has exempted the ISPs from this tax, Mr. Siddique said.

Asked why the Punjab government backed out of its earlier pledge, PRA Chairman without replying to the question said: “We fail to understand why Punjab is being criticised for this tax which is also imposed in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Punjab Govt believes that internet taxes were imposed on May 28th, 2015 and were never withdrawn

Mr. Siddque, while issuing a political statement, failed to mention that mobile internet taxes aren’t charged in both KPK and Sindh due to litigation.

This is happening despite Finance Minister Punjab announced in her budget speech the withdrawal of internet taxes and said that notification will be taken back.

This announcement by Punjab Finance Minister had come following a blackout campaign by major Pakistani websites.

internet_blackout

Screen-grab from Back-out campaign of Digital Publishers

Representatives of Punjab Government had approached website owners on June 13th, 2015 — the day Punjab budget was presented — and requested to end the blackout campaign and confirming that cabinet had withdrawn the taxes and announcement will be made during the budget speech.

Digital publishers had ended their blackout campaign only after the announcement of withdrawal of internet taxes

As promised, announcement was made during the budget speech and blackout campaign was ended with appreciative note on the move made by Punjab.

Not only digital publishers were joyed, but the industry as a whole welcomed the decision. 
Umar_Saif

Umar Saif, Chairman PITB commenting on Punjab Govt’s Decision

Now, however, the government thinks that Finance Minister’s speech bears no legal binding and tax was imposed through a notification on May 28th, 2015 which is still in place. And hence there’s no backing off as tax was never withdrawn.

Website owners are disgruntled as they think that they have been played by the Punjab government. It merits mentioning here that ProPakistani was also part of this blackout campaign.

ProPakistani and other website owners — after Punjab withdrew the taxes — were also making efforts to get KPK taxes reversed as well, which are already in court and withheld by the Peshawar high court.

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


  • Umair

    Mobilink has already started collecting tax :(

    • M Waseem Akhtar

      Yes, mobilink has started collecting tax wef 25-07-2015. I have recieved my warid postpaid bill on 23-07-2015 without internet tax. Further I havn’t recieved any sms or call from warid regarding internet tax.

  • Nothing is beyond this duplicitous government. If they can allegedly buy off an entire judicial commission, then going back on their own word is a walk in the park for them. Remember the whole incident of Nawaz Shariff lying on the parliament floor?

    • batawa

      Two things to find out (i) what were the arguments presented by opposition including PTI, and how weak+petty were they? (ii) Who requested non-public hearings?
      Forces are apolitical and very much busy this time. Judicial Comm was no saint though. How ridiculous is it that a degree is declared valid even when there were massive irregularities in examination system?

      • ppak

        Your last point was spot on. its not about presenting a weak case brother but if ECP/NADRA and even ROs are under NS and how dare can they bring something against NS, hence weakening the case in process. there are many things PTI have done better but they are just learning the loopholes of the system the “hard way”. Making us realize that EMAANDAR AADMI PAK MEY NAHI CHAL SAKTA

  • Saqib Mansoor

    “What is this internet and can we tax it?” asked Nawaz to a collection of surprised faces in the room, half of which began banging their hands into the walls for some very odd reason.

  • Muhammad Aamir

    There are many ways by which the government to earn money rather taxing on the internet. For example, if the government allows us to buy more than 5 SIMs, the more tax will be collected due to the more SIMs as well as the biometric verification is to be considered safe. It was just one example, but we have a lot of other ways. Our government has really become an expert in implementing tax, but it doesn’t see other ways that are responsible to generate a great deal of revenue.

  • Talha

    “It merits mentioning here that PorPakistani was also part of this blackout campaign”

    What is PorPakistani?

    • Ali Ahmad khan

      A human error.

  • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

    good step to tax the mobile internet not the dsl services like others doing.
    and aamir I love when you cry out loud.

    • aamir7

      You should use your brain and read this: https://propakistani.pk/2015/07/28/telcos-increase-3g-prices-by-19-5-due-to-new-internet-tax/
      This new increase in taxes in applicable country wide, which wasn’t deducted anywhere before because it was on hold.

      Also, just if you can come out of your cave to know the reality, mobile internet users are already five times of DSL customers. This number will grow to 10 times (40 million against 4 million) in just couple of years.
      I just hope that you can use your brain and get out of biassed eye towards your government.

      • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

        you should apply same thing on you actually. I absolutely support this tax on mobile internet if above 1500.
        Rest you are biased because of your political support and using this forum and I mention this thousand times.
        Propak point was never about taxes but to defame government as a political motive.
        This would be better if you start the campaign against others to stop this tax.If matter is in court, it’s not because of you and will be solved one day and you still blame specific punjab. Even the reason punjab government provide for this tax is that other provinces are also going for this.

        • aamir7

          Sir tax will be applied on every 3G consumption, even if it’s below Rs. 50 coz tax is either on price of speed above 2mpbs.

          About your other thoughts, I consider them opinion and beg to differ.

  • Fahad

    Question!
    People living in KPK or provinces other than Punjab, won’t be taxed on the internet? I have heard Mobilink has already imposed this tax policy. The people from other provinces are not being taxed?

  • Washroom janay pe bhi Tax hona chahye per minute tax charge karain is se government ko bohat faida hoga, 18 Crore awaam sochooo Pakistan kitni taraqqi karayga :-p