Despite Announcements, Punjab Govt Again Forgets to Reverse Internet Taxes

taxDespite repeated promises from several high-ups from Lahore and an official announcement from Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, his colleagues and subordinates have yet not issued the notification for reversal of 19.5% internet sales taxes that the province had imposed on May 28th, 2015.

Its been almost a month now that CM Punjab directed the reversal of internet taxes. It appears that his office even issued a press release that was picked by media in which CM had emphasized telecom operators to pass on the relief to consumers.

Before CM Punjab’s official announcement, Finance Minister of Punjab had also announced the reversal of internet taxes on May 13th, 2015.

However, even after one month of the CM’s directive, Punjab Revenue Authority is still unmoved and no notification for reversal of taxes has been issued.

“We don’t want to speculate, but it seems that bureaucracy is beyond the control of CM or maybe this was just a planned political statement with PRA on-board to gain some political mileage”, said an official of mobile phone company requesting us not to name him.

Such attitude by Punjab Government is uncivil and beyond comprehension of normal minds, the official further stated.

On other hands, mobile phone companies are charging 19.5% GST from consumers in Punjab (in addition to 14% FED that is imposed by federal government) and we don’t know how and if they will ever reimburse this money back to consumers in case of reversal of taxes.

Another official of a cellular company while speculating about the situation in a different manner said that one telecom player was badly impacted by 3G and 4G uptake, and there is good chance that it is influencing Punjab Government for not reversing the taxes.

Not to mention, Pakistani cellular companies added record 15 million users on 3G and 4G networks during 2014-15.