After proposing an increase in IT sector tax measures, the government received a strong backlash from the IT and telecom industry against the new upped tax rates. Now, the government is considering revisiting the IT sector tax measures suggested in the mini-budget. Not only the five telecom firms have communicated their concerns and dissatisfaction over the move, but even Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haq is opposed to the proposed raised IT taxes.
A Raise in IT Sector Tax Measures Will Have a Negative Impact on Growth
According to sources, the Federal IT minister has voiced the resentment of the stakeholders to Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The IT minister told the prime minister that an increase in IT sector tax measures will have a negative impact on growth and investment,” claimed sources. Meanwhile, PTCL, Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, and Zong have warned that the proposed increases in IT sector tax measures, if enforced, will greatly retard the role of the telecom industry in terms of GDP growth of Pakistan.
Furthermore, these companies in a collective letter to Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and IT Minister Aminul Haq declared that the smartphones connected via mobile broadband are the biggest drivers of digitization, and an increase in IT taxes will reduce the affordability of the masses and reduce the usage of mobile internet.
Pakistan Not Serious About PM’s Digital Pakistan Initiative
Meanwhile, Jazz chief executive officer Aamir Ibrahim in a tweet on Tuesday said, “It seems the country was not sound serious about the ‘Digital Pakistan initiative’ of Prime Minister Imran Khan, as total taxes on telecom has reached almost 35 percent with the addition of 19.5pc GST on mobile calls.”
While countries are subsidizing internet services to strengthen broadband access for citizens, especially students, I am disappointed with talks about raising withholding tax on cellular services to 15% in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/GtDkNCABLl
— Aamir Hafeez Ibrahim (@aamir_ibrahim01) January 4, 2022
“While countries are subsidizing internet services to strengthen broadband access for citizens, especially students, I am disappointed with talks about raising withholding tax (WHT) on cellular services to 15pc in Pakistan,” Mr. Ibrahim said in his tweet message.
Source: Pro Pakistani