Industry status

Status of the industry for the information technology and telecommunications sector: Minister – Journal

ISLAMABAD: To boost the Digital Pakistan initiative, the government decided to grant significant concessions to the information technology and telecommunications sector by granting it the status of “industry”, with reduced taxes and duties Federal Information Technology and Telecommunications Minister Syed Amin-ul -Haque said on Thursday.

Various heavy taxes on the telecommunications sector will be gradually reduced, Haque said at a press conference where he highlighted the decisions taken by the federal cabinet earlier this week.

The cabinet approved the granting of “industry” status to the telecommunications sector in the next fiscal year 2021-22, while the withholding tax on mobile phone users’ income will be reduced from 12.5% ​​to 10%. % and will be gradually lowered to 8% in fiscal 23, he said.

All changes in taxes and duties will be applicable from the next fiscal year from July 2021, including the removal of the fee of Rs 250 on the issuance of a new SIM card.

Withholding tax on the income of mobile phone users will be reduced from 12.5% ​​to 10% and gradually to 8% by FY23

Likewise, the federal excise tax on telecommunications services has been reduced from 17pc to 16pc.

The cabinet also approved the introduction of a simple and easy tax system and the exemption of the telecommunications sector from all withholding taxes and complex collections.

The minister said the cabinet also approved a reduction in the tax on telecommunications services from 8 to 3 for all telecommunications companies with a PTA license.

Mr Haque said the cabinet approved the reduction in tariffs of 4pc and regulatory tariffs of 9pc on the import of telecommunications equipment.

Import taxes of raw materials related to fiber optic cable manufacturing will be reduced from 20pc and 7pc to 5pc and 3pc, respectively.

“These measures will accelerate the implementation of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of ‘digital Pakistan’,” the minister added.

He also highlighted various measures taken by the government to improve connectivity across the country, including the approval of the “right of way policy”, the mobile device manufacturing policy and the improvement of the Fund’s projects. universal service (USF).

The minister said that under the USF, the Ministry of Informatics has launched 32 projects worth 22 billion rupees in the last 31 months of the current government, connecting 10,132 villages in 50 areas not served and underserved.

He also said that the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) received 40% additional export payments in the first six months of the current fiscal year. noted.

The minister added that 40 software technology parks have been set up in less developed areas such as Swat, Bannu, Quetta, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sukkur under the public-private partnership.

Posted in Dawn, le 12 March 2021