What do you think is the criteria for a service sector to gain industry status? If you think it is contributing the most towards the country’s GDP, then my friend you are DEAD WRONG.
Punjab government on Tuesday announced that it is granting industry status to all the beauty parlors present in the province while Telcos are still pleading for this blessing decades after the initial empty promises were made by the government.
Khwaja Imran Nazir, Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Women Conference 2017 said that the women working in beauty parlors are like industrial workers who are contributing towards the economy. Though everyone would welcome this decision with open arms but can’t fail to feel a little hypocrisy of the said government.
So, I think it’s clear what the companies including Jazz, Zong, Ufone, and Telenor need to do to acquire industry status; start offering beautification services because providing telecom and communication services for the millions of people is just madness. Also, what kind of company expects a return on investment of their billions of rupees, the concept is not only outrageous but pure madness.
The telcos can also try changing the names of their services, for example, customer care representatives can start their phone call saying “Welcome to the Spa” or they can name SMS packages “Manicure/Pedicure” and so on. Also, instead of offering free minutes, SMS and data, the telecom companies should consider free massage or an offer for a makeover, maybe that would get the Pakistani government’s attention.
Telecom is the most heavily taxed sector in Pakistan, where the government is implicating 37% tax on consumers irrespective of the fact that most of them do not fall into the tax bracket. In 2015-16, telecom contributed $455 billion towards GDP of the country but when they ask for tax reforms and a rightful Industry Status, their complaints are swept under the rug.