Thursday October 05, 2023

Telecom in trouble

July 04, 2022

Pakistan’s telecommunications sector has significant potential. However, the quality of digital services available lags behind those of other countries in our region. The government recently announced an increase in advance income tax (AIT) on telecommunication services. This announcement comes with concerns of its own. Sector-specific taxes, such as those on smartphones or data usage, influence retail prices of such products and affect poor consumers, especially women.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has the widest gender gap in mobile ownership as only 50 per cent of women own a mobile phone compared to 81 per cent of men. The increase in sector-specific tax will stifle innovation, which limits sustainable industry growth. Therefore, the government of Pakistan should consider the removal of the increase in the tax.

Saba Hassan