One of the most contentious issues for the government of Pakistan after it announced the recent budget was the telecom sector taxes. Now it has been confirmed that the government has imposed a levy of 75 paisas on phone calls that go on for more than five minutes. During the post Budget speech 2021-22, the Minister for Finance, Shaukat Tareen, told that there will be a tax exemption on the Internet and SMS, but a levy of 75 paisas will be put on mobile calls that exceed the 5 minutes time period. Furthermore, the minister added that there will be no tax on IT firms,
Govt Puts Levy on Voice Calls Longer Than Five Minutes
Initially, the government had announced that in order to generate fair revenue from the telecom sector, federal excise on mobile phone calls that go on for more than three minutes will be set at Rs. 1 per call, SMS messages at Rs. 0.1 per SMS and internet data usage at Rs. 5 per GB is being proposed.
On the contrary, people censured this decision of the government. Afterward, the Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar, last week told that Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Cabinet “did not approve” federal excise duty on internet data. Moreover, he guaranteed that the levy will not be incorporated in the final draft of the Finance Bill that will be passed to the Parliament for approval.
However, the last update, according to Minister Tarin’s speech today, is that 75 paisas tax is applicable on mobile calls that exceed five minutes time period.