The government of Punjab has decided to impose GST on internet use in the province after one year delay, as telecom companies failed to provide any incentive to the customers.
During a recent meeting between government officials and telecom companies it was decided that no additional benefits have been provided to the customers in Punjab after the tax cut and the telecom companies kept the prices same as other provinces.
The meeting was attended by the top officials of telecom industry, Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus, Special Adviser to the Chief Minister Dr Umar Saif, Punjab Revenue Authority Chairman Dr Raheel Siddique and other tax experts.
It merits mentioning here that government gave relaxation in taxes to boost internet penetration and to promote e-governance last year. All other provinces and Federal government are already charging this tax, at around 19.5%.
However, despite the relief telecom companies didn’t reduce the prices for internet services in the province, nor provided any special services.
Rs. 6 Billion Provincial Tax is Already Due:
It was also highlighted that telecom companies were not sharing the internet usage data with the PRA despite repeated requests. Around over Rs. 6 billion of provincial tax is already due to cellular operators which they are contesting in the court of law.
Telecom companies were also asked to submit their budget proposals in a day as the provincial budget would be announced on June 2.
The government is estimating around Rs. 5 billion revenue through GST on internet usage. It is expected that 15 % GST would be imposed, which will likely be brought at par in the coming years.