Punjab Won’t Impose Internet Tax Again: Finance Minister

The Punjab provincial government has clarified that 19.5 percent provincial sales tax on broadband services/internet would not be re-imposed in current financial year 2015-16.

Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Punjab Finance Minister, while speaking with ProPakistani, said that provincial government has no intentions of imposing sales tax on broadband and 3G/4G services in the mid of current financial year.

“It requires legislation to impose tax and is not possible before the upcoming budget for 2016-17”, said Punjab Finance Minister.

Dr. Ayesha further said that the provincial government wants to ensure that the benefits of relaxing taxes should be passed on to the general public.

Punjab government is apparently not pleased with telecom operators for failing to pass on the benefits of withdrawal of 19.5 percent provincial sales tax on broadband/ internet services.

If other provinces don’t cut the tax or if telcos don’t pass on the benefits, then Punjab will have a case for re-imposing tax on data again

Punjab government had withdrawn 19.5% internet tax that it had imposed few months earlier. However, according to Punjab Government, telecom companies haven’t reversed their prices even after tax was slashed.

It maybe recalled that some operators had increased their 3G/4G data tariffs by 19.5% to take account of the tax imposed by Punjab.

Punjab Finance Minister has called a meeting with CEOs of mobile phone companies on March 22nd, 2016 to discuss the matter.

While Punjab has agreed to not to re-impose tax on data services for now, if other provinces don’t cut data tax or if mobile phone companies don’t pass on the benefit to consumers then it is likely that Punjab might re-impose 19.5% tax on internet during next financial year.

  • Valid Point by Punjab Govt. Mobilink, Ufone and Telenor increased their data packages after imposition of Punjab’s Internet Tax. But now when there is no Internet tax in Punjab Mobile companies didn’t reduced their packages rates. So Punjab Govt has all the rights to re impose Internet tax if benefit donot passed to customers.
    P.S = Zong is only company which didnt increased its data Packages at the time of tax imposed. So their packages are same now like when they were before Internet tax.

  • punjabis are much smarter for not imposing tax again
    north kpk still dont have 3g 4g thanks to taxes

  • Kindly keep the fixed line and cable operators out of this and don’t mix them with arrogant mobile cos. We are small companies trying to make a living in Pakistan. If you tax us we are finished and you will only make the cable companies stronger. We did not raise prices and simply gave all benefit back to consumers.

  • Compliment Mr. Amin Yusuf Zai on reporting on the topic, from Punjab and the honorable Minister. I guess the rest of the ICT Ministries, Minister would have read this important news to the benefit of ICT in Pakistan. I suggest the CCP to please pursue with the respective mobile operators to refund the sum which was wrongly charged to the consumer. The Government and honorable PM should appreciate the tolerance, patience of the other provinces which had paid till now to recieve the good news of the refund of the taxes paid till now from Sindh, Balochistan, and KPK. Also the payments paid to respective Revenue Boards be refunded to the provinces.

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