The Federal Budget for 2016-2017 period was presented yesterday, bringing about a lot of pros as well as cons for tech-users in Pakistan. However, many Pakistanis will not be happy about yet another increase in the sales tax on mobile phones in the country.
Sales tax on mobile phones of various kinds was doubled last year in the Federal Budget of 2015-16 from Rs. 150, 250 and 300 to Rs. 300, 500, and 1000.
This year, it has been increased to Rs. 300, 1000, and 1,500 depending on the category the specific mobile phone falls in.
For low-end smartphones, the price will go up to 1,500 PKR. But for high end smartphones like Apple iPhones, the price may go up to as high as 11,000 PKR.
Pakistanis already pay highest taxes globally for telecom services and a further increase in mobile phones sales tax is just not the way to go right now.
There has been influx of smartphones recently in Pakistan and the country was ranked 6th on the list of top smartphone markets for growth by value but according to a report, nearly half of the population still doesn’t access to a mobile phone. The newly increased taxes are certainly not going to help in that regard.