Give relief to telecom sector

SPECIAL Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar has held out an assurance to the telecom sector that no additional tax would be imposed on it in the next year’s budget. In a meeting with CEOs and high-level representatives of the telecom companies, he claimed that the Government wants this industry to flourish so that the people of Pakistan get better and better services at their door step.
Sometimes back, telecom companies, in a letter addressed to Mr. Haroon Akhtar, had rightly pointed out that the sector continues to offer unprecedented growth opportunities in both developing and developed countries and communication services have become an important part of how economies work and function. In Pakistan too, it is contributing immensely in terms of investment, job creation, socio-economic development and revenue generation. It has the potential to contribute more to the national exchequer but regrettably the Government is following a policy of killing the hen that lays golden eggs. The sector is heavily taxed and both federal and provincial governments are charging multiple taxes on cellular services, which are hindering not only its growth but have become a punishing burden on the masses. Telecom companies are not only providing latest services and technologies to the masses but also providing the required money to the Government to expand Internet and telecom services to remote and backward areas. We welcome the statement of the Minister that there would be no additional taxes on telecom sector in the coming budget but the fact remains that the sector is already heavily taxed and needs relief. Instead of burdening the companies and their customers, rates of taxes should be reduced to encourage companies to invest more and incentivize people to take full advantage of the latest services like 3G and 4G that have become one of the effective engines of economic growth in different countries.

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