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GSMA Protests Against FED on Mobile Calls

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The government had earlier announced a Rs 0.75 rate of FED after every 5 minutes on phone calls as part of the budget 2021-2022. The increase in FED on mobile calls has landed the entire telecom system in a state of frenzy. The telecom sector protested stating that the five-minute calls that cost Rs 1.97 will now be charged Rs. 2,72 after FED implementation.

Read here about the dismissal of FED on phone calls/SMS/internet data inclusive Budget 2021-2022

It wasn’t just the local companies that protested against this latest addition to taxes. In retaliation, an international company Global Sys­tem for Mobile Commu­ni­cations (GSMA) also asked the finance minister to remove the FED. The head of GSMA’s Asia Pacific center, Julian Gorman said that FED can have an adverse effect on the telecom sector. The company wrote a letter to Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin and asked him to waive off the charges.

“This new levy creates uncertainty while the mobile sector is planning long-term investment as part of planned spectrum auction presenting a significant risk for the government achieving the Digital Pakistan Vision,” Mr. Gorman said.
Mr. Gorman also said that previously the government has negotiated with the mobile sector. Such steps have helped to boost the digital economy of Pakistan. He expressed his concerns regarding the Finance Bill saying:
“The telecommunication sector was the key enabler for social and economic growth and these tax reforms will contribute to spread the benefits more widely within society.”
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