Tax on Internet, again in Punjab

Tax on Internet, again in Punjab

(Lahore July 24, 2015)- Punjab government has again decided to tax the data usage of mobile phone users. All cellular mobile operators (CMOs) will be bound to pay 19.5 % tax (in the form of GST) on data usage by their customers. Earlier, Punjab Government has declared the reversal of said tax during the last budget session on June 12, 2015.
On May 28, 2015, The Punjab government had imposed 19.5% tax on all kind of data usage by internet users. However, when associations for digital rights and mobile operators raised the issue, the government through a cabinet decision revoked the tax.
As per a CMO representative, no any notification or SRO from the provincial government for withdrawal of taxes on mobile internet had not received since the announcement made by Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha on the floor of the House that the SRO for imposition of tax would be taken back.
“The News” report said that Punjab Government has taken another U-turn for more and more revenue generation and not ready to miss any opportunity of tax collection. It is also said in reports that to save its face, Punjab Government is going to exempt the tax on fixed broadband internet connections i.e. DSL (which are less than 2% of whole internet population) for educational purpose and a new notification is expected soon in this regard.
Just to mention that there is another 14% withholding duty forced by the federal government, which will be collected independently along with said 19.5% GST. Overall, there is around 33.5% tax that web clients will need to pay at last.

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