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Monday July 15, 2024

Consensus eludes FBR, telcos over blocking of Sims

Non-filers were consistently paying mobile bills amounting to Rs10,000 per month but remained outside tax net

By Our Correspondent
May 08, 2024
A representational image of several sim cards. — AFP/File
A representational image of several sim cards. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: In their discussions, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and cellular mobile operators (CMOs) have failed to break impasse over blocking of 0.5 million SIMs belonging to non-filers.

Additionally, the FBR has taken strides toward digitalisation by notifying its Project Management Team of Tax System Digitalisation.

Finance Minister Mohammad Aurangzeb informed journalists on Tuesday that non-filers were consistently paying mobile bills amounting to Rs10,000 per month but remained outside the tax net.

Upon contacting the spokesperson for telecom operators, it was revealed that during the meeting with the FBR, additional technical, operational, and legal issues were highlighted, necessitating further deliberations.

“No assurances were provided by telecom operators for blocking SIMs,” he added.

Despite reaching out to FBR Chairman Amjad Zubair Tawana for comments on the discussions with CMOs, no response was received by the time of filing this report.

Regarding the FBR’s digitalisation efforts, the Project Management Team of Tax System Digitalisation has been notified.

The team consists of Mr. Muhammad Khalid Jamil (IRS/BS-20) as Project Director (Convener), Mr. Zainul Abidin Sahi (IRS/BS-20) as Chief (Systems), IT Wing, Mr. Arshad Nawaz Chheena (IRS/BS-20) as Chief (Revenue Operations), IR-Operations Wing, Ms. Bushra Jaffar (IRS/BS-19) as Chief (OPS) (DRM), Reforms and Modernisation Wing, Mohammad Iqbal Khan (IRS/BS-19) as Director (POS), Directorate General of Digital Initiatives, and Mr. Usman Kokab as the Focal Person from Karandaz.

The Project Management Team will oversee and manage the execution and implementation of the project, collaborating closely with all stakeholders for project coordination from inception to completion. They will ensure adherence to timelines, deliverables, and quality standards.