As we previously reported, Punjab government declared the Internet a taxable item in the Budget 2017-18. Now we have confirmed that it will be imposing 19.5% internet tax on mobile data and broadband connection.
The telecom companies are informing the users about the coming taxes on the Internet via text messages.
Only students using the broadband package with a value of no more than Rs. 1500 are exempted from this tax. But, if a package is not specified or designed for students and is priced at/under Rs. 1500 will also pay the 19.5% sales tax.
In 2015, the government placed the same Internet tax but abolished it after much uproar created by the telecom industry, online and print media.
Currently, there aren’t many packages which cater to students only but maybe the companies will introduce more such offers soon.
Punjab takes pride in bringing the IT revolution in the country but this move only makes the Internet access difficult for people.
Pakistanis are already paying heavy telecom taxes across the country, now mobile broadband would be out of reach for many customers who started to become a part of the digital world after the introduction of 3G/4G services.
Punjab is the largest province which also hosts the majority of telecom consumers in the country. Thus, internet tax will only hamper growth in the province