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Senate Committee Rejects Proposal of 18% Sales Tax on Mobile Phones

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has rejected the government’s budget proposal to impose an 18 percent sales tax on mobile phones priced up to $200 (approximately Rs. 56,000).

Committee members rejected the new tax during a session on Saturday with Senator Saleem Mandviwala in the chair.

Committee member Anusha Rehman said mobile phones are essential items rather than luxury goods. She argued that imposing such a tax would disproportionately affect cheap phones, making them unaffordable for many consumers.

The senator said the federal government is putting too much burden on the poor for the International Monetary Fund. She said there are already multiple taxes on mobile phones, including taxes on calls and charging services. She also lamented that the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax policies are driving investors away from the country.

Further discussions and evaluations of alternative measures for budget enforcement are expected as the committee continues to review tax policies.

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ProPK Staff