The respectable Telecom operators all over Pakistan have recommended to the government that they should somewhat rationalize the duty/taxes on smart mobile phones and in addition to that they should also subsidize it through the Universal Service Fund (USF) for rural areas in the upcoming mini-budget so that the companies take advantage of all the full benefits of the new technologies and in turn these telecom companies can meet the modern world challenges with confidence and full effect. Moreover, the Chief Corporate Affairs Telenor Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed said:
“Without over 70 percent smart phones and penetration of 3G and 4G technology, it is difficult to cough with the challenges of upcoming global developments in the IT industry as well as get full benefits.”
Furthermore he talked with the media with Bjørn Hansen who is the Vice President at Telenor Research, on Thursday. Kamal added that all telecom operators have conveyed their concerns to the government and recommended for rationalizing duty/taxes on mobile phones.
In the answer to the question, Ahmed said that Telenor license along with two other operators are all due for renewal in the month of May, 2019 and the said companies have in turn applied for the renewal. However they have demanded of the government to provide a fair and balanced playing field as well as the same terms and condition which can help the companies grow as well and on which license of one of the operator was renewed in 2014.
Telecom operators urge Government to reduce taxes and add subsidies on smartphones
However it is alsoworth mentioning that according to the rules and regulations, USF can be utilized to reach the un-served and underserved areas by providing broadband services. For provision of subsidized smart phones, rules need to be amended.