Punjab Govt to Study Reasons for Decline in Telecom Revenues

Expressing serious concerns over drop in telecom revenues and the services tax, Punjab government has constituted a committee to assess the reasons for the decline in revenues. Committee will also propose measures for increasing telecom revenues and tax collection in the province from telecom services.

This was decided during a meeting chaired by Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Punjab Finance Minister and attended by CEOs of telecom operators including Mobilink, Telenor, Zong, Ufone, NayaTel, Wi-tribe and others.

The meeting apparently shows that Punjab government’s threats worked and CEOs of telecom companies reached the meeting with Finance minister.

Sources who attended the meeting told ProPakistani that the Punjab government was informed that main reason behind the decline in tax revenue was the biometric verification as millions of SIMs were blocked, however the number of subscribers is once again increasing that should result in increased revenues in coming days.

Punjab Finance Minister assured that 19.5% tax on Internet in Punjab would not be re-imposed

Telecom operators appreciated Punjab government for withdrawing the tax on internet. Operators informed the provincial government that some operators had not increased the tariffs after the imposition of tax by Punjab, while those who had increased the prices reverted their tariffs after tax was slashed.

Finance minister stated that provincial government wants technology and knowledge based economy to flourish in the province.

Minister said that tax on internet was withdrawn while keeping in mind the need for uptake of internet in the province. She said that tax was removed as government wants consumers to avail internet services at lowest possible rates. “Punjab wants to bridge the digital divide”, said Dr. Ayesha.

The Minister assured that 19.5% tax on Internet in Punjab would not be re-imposed. She also remarked that provincial government is keen to facilitate mobile phone companies in larger public interest.

A committee, comprising CFOs of telecom operators, DG Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA), would meet next week to asses the reasons behind drop in revenue from telecom services.