Senate committee infuriated over taxes on mobile phone cards, losses on grey trafficking

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The senate’s standing committee for the cabinet division expressed its concerns over the loss of billions of rupees from Pakistan due to grey telephone traffic from abroad, and sought details regarding the taxes imposed on mobile phone cards.

Chairperson Senator Kalsoom Parveen supervised the committee’s meeting on Friday. The committee summoned officials from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and mobile companies over the implementation of excessive taxation under different heads.

The committee noted that the country was suffering daily losses of billions and trillions of rupees due to grey trafficking. It said that while the world was benefiting massively from G-4 technology, Pakistan had not even managed to auction G-3 technology. The committee directed the joint auction for G-3 and G-4.

The committee also took serious notice of the unpaid salaries of PTA employees which had been pending since the last two months, and asked the PTA to clear the salary issue by Monday.

The cabinet division’s additional secretary told the committee that the employees had been paid till June and that the PTA was an autonomous institution and had its own budget.