Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque and the regulator complained over the increased taxes rates imposed on the telecom sector on Wednesday.
The federal minister during the “Smart Phone for All” launch ceremony, which was hosted in conjunction with GSMA and KistPay stated that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) need to comprehend the problems being encountered by the IT and telecom sector.
Haque had previously voiced his strong disapproval of the finance ministry and FBR for failing to address the problem of higher taxes in the telecom sector, claiming that the decision was hurting the expansion of the IT sector.
Industry players criticized the fact that Pakistan has some of the highest mobile call, internet, and mobile set taxes in the world while also having some of the lowest returns on investments (ROI).
Since I was appointed IT minister, I have supported the telecom sector, he said, adding that “digital growth is not only vital to strengthen the economy but also one of the fundamental prerequisites required to modernize the country’s system of governance.”
“The Universal Service Fund (USF) has launched 28 projects, worth Rs65 billion, compared to only four projects that were launched four years ago,” he remarked, highlighting some of the accomplishments accomplished in the IT & Telecom sector since he took office.
The initiative makes it easier for the low-income segment to afford smartphones by allowing mobile phones priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 100,000 to be purchased at 3-to-12-month payments with a 20% to 30% down payment.
Haque praised Kistpay for the launch and stated that the project will contribute to an increase in smartphone usage nationwide. This will eventually inspire individuals to launch their e-commerce firms explaining that having a smartphone made locally is one of the requirements for the campaign.