89% of the population in Pakistan cannot afford internet, IMF
Yes, you read it right.
According to a recent report launched by International Monetary Fund (IMF), about 200 million Pakistanis still cannot afford internet. The report further says that 4.2 billion people of the world, still don’t have affordable internet, while total internet users in the world are 3.2 billion, establishing that the majority of the world’s population still cannot afford the internet.
Although Pakistan Telecommunication Authority(PTA) claimed that the government is expanding broadband services to the whole country by 2018. PTA has overall failed to provide affordable internet making Pakistan among the top eight countries where people do not have access to the internet.
As you can see in the image below, here is a list of top 8 countries in the world that do not have affordable internet:
- India with 1.1 billion non-affordable internet users.
- China with 0.7 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Indonesia with 0.2 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Pakistan with 0.2 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Bangladesh with 0.1 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Nigeria with 0.1 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Brazil with 0.1 billion non-affordable internet users.
- Ethiopia with 0.1 billion non-affordable internet users.
The rest of the countries not included in the above list are 1.6 billion people.
IMF further elaborates in the report that how governments should tax the incomes of global tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google and various others that serve so many citizens across the world using digital technology. IMF imposes digitalization is the best way to decrease gaps between governments and economic factors, improving the efficiency of policy and the lives of citizens making internet affordable.
With more information governments can enforce better tax compliance, ensure participation in the social safety net, improve the delivery of public services, and design policies that are more consistent with individual circumstances and behavior.
Although China is to provide faster internet to Pakistan through 60 TB submarine cable with the PEACE cable expected to come online by end of 2019, the country’s internet connectivity still doesn’t have a significant boost, leading to more frequent outages and disruption of services.