In a meeting with Federal Minister of IT Syed Aminul Haq yesterday, the CEOs of telecommunications businesses voiced their worries over government policies.
According to credible sources in the telecom industry, the policies of the Finance Division, FBR, and State Bank are leading the country into the dark ages rather than the digital era.
According to sources within the telecom industry, CEOs of telecommunications companies met with the Federal Minister yesterday to discuss the challenges facing the business.
The telecom industry claims that due to government policies, not only is the telecom industry suffering and no new investment is entering this sector, but these policies are also affecting the IT industry, as the telecom sector is the backbone of the IT sector and the majority of IT businesses rely on telecom and data services.
According to sources within the business, the CEOs urged the federal minister speak with the federal government about rescinding the 50% withholding tax rise.
The CEOs reportedly informed the federal minister that with an overall tax rate of 34.5 percent on telecom users, including a 15 percent withholding tax and a 19.5 percent general sales tax, Pakistan is one of the most heavily taxed telecom markets in the world and the second most heavily taxed in South Asia.
According to sources, CEOs of telecommunications companies have also discussed industrial tariffs with the federal minister.
The CEOs stated that the telecom industry has been granted industrial status, but industrial tariff has not yet been introduced, resulting in rising operational expenses. Users are charged in rupees by telecom carriers, but must pay renewal costs in dollars.
According to industry insiders, the CEOs of the enterprises also highlighted the issue of the telecom industry’s lack of LC openings with the federal minister. The CEOs informed the Federal Minister that the non-opening of Letters of Credit and the non-import of telecom industry equipment are affecting the industry’s operations.
According to the sources, Federal Minister Syed Aminul Haq promised to discuss the industry’s difficulties with the federal government.
The Federal Minister stated that the import of telecom equipment, spectrum fee, and industrial tariff are critical issues of the telecom industry that must be resolved immediately because economic stability and an increase in foreign exchange reserves are contingent on the growth of the telecom industry.
According to the sources, the Federal Minister stated that the IT Ministry is working diligently to resolve the industry’s challenges.
The MoITT has submitted Telecom Industry-related proposals to the Finance Ministry and the FBR. He stated that he will also speak with the Prime Minister about the industry’s problems.
The sources noted that the CEOs of the telecom companies congratulated the Federal Minister and stated that the Ministry of IT and Telecom has always made genuine efforts to address the industry’s issues.