A meeting planned for today (Monday, Nov 16th, 2015) where all provincial revenue boards along with Federal Board of Revenue were to meet and discuss all pending issues related to internet taxes and especially Punjab’s failure in issuing the notification for reversal of internet taxes, was cancelled for reasons not known to anyone.
Daily Express reported that meeting was cancelled at the 11th hour and now a new date for the meeting will be announced next week.
According to media reports, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA), Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), Chairman KP Revenue Authority (KPRA) and other senior officials of related departments were to meet in Islamabad today, but meeting was called off with no timeline given for next meeting as of yet.
Meeting was called by FBR to discuss sales tax on internet and to find out what exactly is hindering Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) in issuing a notification for reversal of 19.5% GST it announced in May 2015.
Mian Shahbaz Sharif, CM Punjab had publicly announced that PRA will reverse the internet taxes that Punjab imposed, in fact Dr. Ayesha Ghaus, Finance Minister of Punjab had announced the reversal of internet taxes on the floor of Punjab Assembly but PRA is yet to issue a notification on the same even after five months of the verbal commitments from Chief Minister and Finance Minister.
Telecom companies have shown their concerns over the situation and have repeatedly asked PRA for a clear stance as telcos are still not deducting taxes from customers’ based on commitments from the top official of Punjab province.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had also announced that it will press provinces for removal of internet taxes, however, Punjab Revenue Authority is unmoved despite all promises, commitments and pressure from various political and institutional entities.