Pakistan Telecom Sector Expects Boost After Incentives in Recent Budget

Pakistan is hoping a boost in the telecom sector after tax incentives in recent budget, as the South Asian country continues to witness the boom picked up pace in 2013 following the successful 3G/4G auctions.

In the federal budget announced in May, the government cut the custom duty on telecom equipment from the high of 16 percent to 9 percent. Sales tax on smart phones has been reduced from 1000 rupees ($15.52) to 650 rupees.

Federal Excise Duty on Telecommunication Services has been reduced to 17 percent from 18.5 percent Withholding income tax for mobile phone subscribers lowered to 12.5 percent from 14 percent.

Pakistan has witnessed three consecutive 3G/4G successful auctions which has led to 10 fold increase in smartphone-based mobile broadband connections since 2013 to 40 million. In 2013, without 3G, Pakistan was lagging behind Afghanistan, but today, with 3G/4/G bandwidth, it has leapt ahead of Turkey.

Pakistani Minister for Telecom Anusha Rehman said recently that efforts are being made to deploy 5G by 2020/ . The government has also expressed resolve to provide access to remote villages by next year.

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