The government has imposed a 75 paisa tax on every mobile phone call exceeding the duration of five minutes. However, all visually impaired mobile phone users would be exempted from taxes on handsets.

This was announced by Federal Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin during a National Assembly (NA) session, where he informed about the changes to proposals in the Finance Bill 2021-22.

On the other hand, the Finance Minister clarified that there would be no tax on internet usage and SMS.

Initially, during the budget speech, it was proposed in the finance bill that tax of PKR1 per call will be imposed if the call duration exceeds three minutes, along with PKR5 per GB for internet usage and 10 paisa on each SMS.


However, in a post budget press conference, Tarin had clarified, “We are not doing it at this time.” He had said the proposals had been opposed by the prime minister and the federal cabinet so it was “off the table”.

The imposed tax on these services received criticism from the users as well, who stormed the social media and criticized the government.

Many had even tagged the prime minister in their tweets saying that the “budget killed digital Pakistan initiative of the PM.”

Due to the criticism and hate on the budget proposals, the Energy Minister, Hammad Azhar had later also denied that additional duties had been imposed on telecom and data usage.

“The PM and Cabinet did not approve the FED levy on internet data usage. It will not be included in the final draft of the Finance Bill (budget) that is placed before parliament for approval,” he had said in a tweet.

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