[dropcap]I[/dropcap]SP (Internet Service Providers) asked the federal government to withdraw newly imposed regulatory duty on Optic Fiber Cables if the government is willing to grow Fiber to Home in Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that Government has imposed 20% regulatory duty 2 months earlier in October.
Withdraw Taxes or We Stop High-Speed Internet Rollout
It should also be noted that the 20% regulatory duty is imposed above the already-in-place taxes including 20% customs duty, 17% sales tax, 5.5% advance tax and 3% value-added tax. Not just that, the Internet Service Providers are also paying the deployment charges and other charges to keep their services up and running in the country.
The additional 20% regulatory duty above all those taxes means the government is either not willing that fast internet should be publically available or they are trying to get final profitable bites of their last year.
Fiber to Home operators was fast expanding their services until the new tax was imposed which limited the upgrade to main areas in big cities. A lot of new deployments and Fiber Optic laying was expected during the next few years, but with such exorbitant amount of taxes, this now seems unlikely.
It is also worth mentioning that current manufacturing of Optical Fiber Cable doesn’t meet the demand of the market. Internet service providers also have written to Ministry of IT demanding that the government should reconsider its decision of imposing another 20% of tax on FTTH and don’t hurt the country’s uptake of high-speed broadband.”
They also noted that Universal Service Fund projects are going to be impacted by the decision as well. ISPs said that any further expansion plans would have to be rolled back if the decision is not reversed shortly.