At a recent meeting of the National Assembly to discuss the budget, Finance Minister Shaukat Tallinn announced that the government will levy a tax of 75 Paisa or PKR0.75 for each call with a talk time of more than 5 minutes.
The government plans to tax people who answer the phone and declares the decision “not feasible.” According to Geo News, the industry also raised reasons why the authorities should reconsider its tax decision.
The reasons presented are:
- This decision may cause problems for 98% of prepaid customers who use bundled offers.
- End a package deal that is extremely convenient for the public.
- The tax may prompt consumers to hang up and call back five minutes early.
- Reduced calls will save consumers from tax relief.
In return, the government will get nothing. The additional tax is a complicated issue for telecom operators and trouble for the public.
Initially, the 2021-22 Finance Act proposed that if the duration exceeds three minutes, a PKR1 tax will be imposed on each call, a PKR5 tax will be imposed on each GB of Internet usage, and 10 paisa will be imposed on each SMS.
However, in a post-budget press conference, Tallinn clarified: “We are not doing this at the moment,” adding that these proposals have been rejected by the prime minister and the federal cabinet.