The government of Pakistan has put new levies on the voice calls in the recent budget. Many national and international companies have shown resentment over the latest development. Now, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has asked the government to withdraw levies imposed on voice calls.
ICCI Urges the Government to Withdraw Taxes from Voice Calls
A delegation of telecom service providers visited the chamber and organized a meeting with ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan. They showed concerns over the 75 paisa tax on voice calls that exceed the five-minute period. Consequently, this will increase the rate of a five-minute call from Rs1.9 to Rs2.7. In addition to that, it will also increase the financial burden on users. Apart from that, it will also affect the business of telecom companies, the telcos maintained. The delegation urged the government to eliminate the tax to spare telcos and consumers from increasing the cost of calls.
The chief commercial officer of Jazz, Asif Aziz, group chief regulatory officer of Ufone, Naveed Khalid Butt, deputy director financial control of Zong, Bilal Khan, Bilal Maroof from Telenor, and others were part of the delegation. Fatma Azim, ICCI senior vice president, vice president Abdul Rehman Khan and former president Ejaz Abbasi were also present during the meeting.
According to the delegation members, the tax was imposed without consultation with the relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, they added that the new tax is not implementable as the charging structure is not linear and 98 percent of consumers are prepaid account holders sthat mostly use bundle offers.
Moreover, the members said that the tax will negatively affect prepaid bundles being enjoyed by the mediocre people of our society. If the new taxes are imposed then voice and hybrid bundles will have to be withdrawn to and the existing telecom service model will be hampered.