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FBR Advised to Review Telecom Non-Filer Policies by Senate

FBR Advised to Review Telecom Non-Filer Policies by Senate

Senator Salim Mandviwala chaired a Senate Finance Committee meeting to deal with tax proposals impacting Pakistan’s telecom sector. Key discussions targeted the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) being directed to create a structured penalty desk for non-filers, as telecom businesses raised issues about the 75 per cent tax on cellular recharges for non-filers.

The telecom enterprise, Pakistan’s largest investor with Rs. 100 billion invested in internet infrastructure, highlighted their diminishing operational presence and the heavy fines imposed for now not complying with SIM card policies, despite giant spectrum investments. Telecom representatives are confused that fines for SIM non-compliance always exceed the ones for tax non-compliance, urging for a rollback of those taxes and fines rather than their outright abolition.

In contrast, the World Bank’s allocation of $72 million for digitization efforts in Pakistan became cited, juxtaposing the high taxes at the telecom zone. Telecom organizations emphasized their essential contribution to the economic system and infrastructure development, cautioning that immoderate taxation and fines may want to pressure more groups out of the market.

Chairman FBR acknowledged the compliance demanding situations, noting that the regulation focused on non-filers, brought in 2022, had brought about over 500,000 non-filers to put up returns, leading to SIM blocking measures. The Senate Finance Committee recommended reviewing the penalties imposed on telecoms for SIM non-compliance, addressing issues concerning the high tax fee on mobile recharges for non-filers, and inspecting the remedy of telecom organizations as regulation enforcement sellers in tax collection.

The committee mentioned the discrepancies between consequences for telecoms and other non-compliance problems, stressing the want for balance.

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