Pakistan Telecom Companies Agree to Block SIMs of Tax Evaders

Companies seek over a week’s time from FBR to implement move!

Mujtaba Ahmed
2 Min Read
Pakistan Telecom Companies Agree to Block SIMs of Tax Evaders

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan held discussions with telecom companies and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) regarding the implementation of an Income Tax General Order (ITGO). This order mandates the blocking of mobile phone SIM cards belonging to individuals who failed to file their tax returns for the year 2023. The number of affected individuals is estimated to be over 500,000.

Initially, telecom companies resisted the decision, citing concerns about a two-year delay in implementing this existing law. They argued for a fairer approach and questioned why the FBR wasn’t simultaneously pursuing the disconnection of utilities like power and gas for non-filers, as authorized by the law. The FBR maintained its right to choose how and when to utilize its legal powers.

Telecom companies expressed concerns about potential revenue losses due to SIM blocking, estimated at Rs. 50 million. The FBR countered by highlighting the Rs. 1.7 billion in weekly revenue it receives from the telecom sector. While acknowledging a potential temporary revenue dip, the FBR emphasized the long-term benefits of documenting the economy and the eventual increase in tax revenue and telecom income as non-filers become compliant.

The telecom companies proposed alternative measures like blocking a smaller number of SIMs or targeting individuals with multiple SIM cards in a phased approach. However, the FBR emphasized the legal mandate from parliament and the potential for strict action against non-compliance. Following negotiations, the telecom companies agreed to implement the decision and requested time to develop workable solutions. They ultimately assured the FBR chairman of their commitment to comply with the law and block the SIMs of non-filers.

Source: Tribune

Posted by Mujtaba Ahmed
I am a tech and corporate expert with 7+ years of experience, specializing in leveraging technology to enhance business growth and efficiency. As a skilled writer and commentator, I am known for simplifying complex concepts.
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