Telcos Urge KPK Government to Remove Internet Taxes

After Punjab’s removal of internet taxes, mobile phone companies have now urged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to consider removing 19.5% tax that it deducts for wired and mobile broadband usage in the province.

A letter written by all mobile phone companies and PTCL to KPK Chief Minister, Mr. Parvez Khattak, said that provincial government should consider the removal of internet taxes in the province.

It maybe recalled that KPK government had imposed 19.5% sales tax on DSL, wireless and mobile internet in 2014. Mobile phone companies, however, aren’t charging taxes from their customers despite the fact that they are submitting the taxes to provincial government from their own pockets.

After Punjab’s reversal of Internet taxes, mobile phone companies are not expecting a similar treatment from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Tax on mobile internet is rare in the world and Bhutan is the only country, after Pakistan, that levies tax on internet and there too the tax rate is merely 5 percent.

In the letter written to KPK Chief Minister, mobile phone companies explained that how internet tax is also a hindrance for telecom companies as they can’t allocate funds to roll out their services in the Province.

Moreover this tax acts as an entry barrier for subscribers to use internet in the province, where internet usage is already struggling with penetration being in single digits.

KPK government and PTI has been claiming to put special focus on education and youth development; with removal of internet tax, increased broadband penetration will not only impact positively on academic ventures of the KPK government but it will also help flourish the high-tech startup ecosystem involving young educated minds from the province.

Benefits of increased broadband usage — with tax-free internet — will also mean feasible and smooth e-health, e-education, e-farming and other similar internet and smartphone based projects.

Telcos reminded KPK CM that internet tax also opposes The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Youth Policy draft which envisions a promising framework for integrated youth development reforms and reaping youth potentials of the province.

Mobile phone companies, in the letter, said that removal of internet taxes will encourage the efficient roll out of high-capacity mobile broadband networks in the province, that will spur further investment and socio-economic growth of the industry in general and people of KPK in particular.

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

  • I protest against internet taxes any where in pakistan especially in kpk where we have a government that believes in the uprising of people and is at least trying to improve the condition of folks in here. how could they even impose this tax in the first place.

  • Telecoms should also persuade Sindh Government for removal of tax on Internet. As our Ruffian CM would never remove tax by his own.

  • Did tax remove from 3G/4G services in Punjab? I don’t think so. I am still getting tax charged on my prepaid package. However, mobilink confirmed that they have removed tax from postpaid packages. :(

  • According to my weak memory, couple of months back all telecom companies increased internet package charges indicating internet tax by government. For example I am using mobilink prepaid and they had a package of 75 rupees for using 1.5 GB data for one week. After introduction of tax by Punjab govt, they revised package and according to revised package I can use only use 750 MB for the same 75 rupees. Now if it is true, that the Punjab Govt has abolished internet tax, then why they are not revising packages to old charges to facilitate customer? Does it means that they are exploiting customers?

    • Same sentiments here, sir.

      Tax lagey tou price barha do; tax remove honey per no action. We need PTA/Govt intervention.

      Aamir Bhai, can you please write a post on this? What’s the advantage of tax removal campaign, if users aren’t benefited.

  • Why KPK only show-off on Media? where is practical term for taxes?
    they must remove taxes and also reduce taxes on card loads, Why i have to pay 36 rupees on 100 card? and after recharching again taxes charged on packages and advance balance.
    Is there any proper monitoring system? KPK government looks sophisticated in implementing and monitoring organizations but not for lower class people.
    We protest against taxes.

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