Telecom operators urge government to reduce taxes and add subsidies on smartphones

Written by Adeel Aslam ·  1 min read >

All five telecom operators of Pakistan have recommended to the federal government that if Pakistan is to rise to the modern world challenges in the telecom sector, the government has to rationalize duty/taxes on smartphones; in addition to providing subsidy in the upcoming mini-budget for rural areas through the Universal Service Fund (USF).

While talking to media Mr. Kamal Ahmed, Chief Corporate Affairs Telenor Pakistan said that all telecom operators have conveyed their combined concerns to the federal government and recommended for rationalizing duty/taxes on mobile phones.

“Without over 70 percent smartphones and penetration of 3G and 4G technology, it is difficult to cope with the challenges of upcoming global developments in the IT industry as well as get full benefits,” he added in a media talk this past Thursday.

During the same media session held at Telenor Pakistan Campus 345, Bjorn Hansen, Vice President Telenor Research told, “It’s imperative that we know what developments have taken place in the recent past and what technology holds in store for our future, in order to harvest the benefits. Our findings show that responsible tech is on the rise, even in the midst of technology’s rapid leaps. Government support used in the right way will contribute to the sustainable tomorrow.”

Kamal Ahmed added that the 15-year licenses of three mobile operators Telenor, Zong and Warid (Jazz) are due for renewal in May 2019. The remaining two mobile operators, Mobilink (Jazz) and Ufone are not due for renewal until 2022 and 2029, respectively.

All 3 telecom giants due for renewal, have applied for it. However, they have demanded of the government the same terms and condition on which license of Ufone got renewed in 2014. Kamal Ahmed claimed that their demand is “to provide a fair and balanced playing field for all companies’ equal growth”.