WHT Be Exempted on Rs. 100 Mobile Card: Standing Committee Recommends

Islamabad (November 6, 2017): The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications met with Senator Shahi Syed, under his chairmanship, to review the progress made so far on the SOP being devised by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) regarding collection of taxes i.e. GST & WHT from cellular operators. The committee recommended for not to deduct Withholding Tax (WHT) on mobile cards of Rs 100, as it is mostly consumed by people who are not liable for taxes.

Senators Syed Shibli Faraz, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan, Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications and other senior officials were also attending meeting.

The members of the said committee recommended for giving exemption from WHT to FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. The committee observed that it is a matter of legislation, and needs to be taken in the Parliament. FBR officials stated that in the budget proposals a certain limit may be proposed for deduction of WHT from poor people. The official further stated that FBR collects around Rs 1 billion per week and around Rs 48 billion per annum as WHT from mobile consumers. However, committee members stated that a nominal number of people could only claim WHT due to complex tax system in the country.

At the end, Shahi Syed said that there are around 135 million mobile users and with an average Rs 200 is being used by each accounting for Rs 810 billion. In case of 10 percent service tax, the amount will be Rs 81 billion and 18 percent GST it would reach Rs 113 billion. He said that FBR should have a figure of Rs 113 billion of taxes instead of Rs 48 billion.

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