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Punjab government had withdrawn 19.5% internet tax that it had imposed few months earlier.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.

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