Fact Check: Is PTA Tax Removed?

May 29, 2024Zayn0

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) taxes on mobile phones have been removed, according to recent press reports that have been explained by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). PTA asserts that the Pakistani government has not informed them of any decision to remove these levies, despite rumours circulating that the prime minister of Pakistan has made the announcement.

Furthermore, it is incorrectly stated in the publications that non-PTA mobile users can get their devices approved by merely turning them on and off while having a SIM card attached, and that Pakistanis returning from outside will not be required to pay these fees.

Free Temporary Registration System by Prime Minister 

The Prime Minister extended in July 2023 the ability for Pakistanis living abroad to register their phones through the Temporary Registration System for free for 120 days on each occasion they visit Pakistan. The PTA stresses that no more extensive elimination of FBR taxes on handset registration has been implemented; this temporary capability is the only one in effect at the moment.

Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) 

The PTA went on to say that one of its responsibilities is to confirm that mobile devices meet the technical requirements needed to be registered through the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) following the payment of FBR taxes. The FBR is the only entity in charge of implementing and collecting these taxes.

It is recommended that any updates or modifications concerning the introduction, augmentation, or elimination of mobile device taxes be verified immediately with the FBR.

Upholding Transparency and Accountability

Previous reports on social media misrepresented the PTA’s announcement that taxes on mobile phone registration would no longer apply. Customers in Pakistan were prompted by this false information to ask Pakistanis living abroad to send cell phones without paying taxes to the government; the PTA has since responded and denied this claim.

Conclusion

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) strongly refuted opinions that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) levies on mobile phones have been eliminated in Pakistan. The PTA emphasizes that the only new development is a temporary extension of the free phone registration scheme for Pakistanis living abroad and claims that the government has not notified them of any decision to abolish these levies.  As such, the public is encouraged to confirm any revisions with the FBR immediately.

Zayn

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