ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move to increase revenue the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to impose tax on various social media platform posts including but not limited to twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat.
“Let me be very clear, the purpose of this move is to generate much needed revenue only and not in the slightest to discourage unnecessary posts that are critical of the government and the FBR itself,” explained Dr Muhammad Arshad, Chairman FBR with a straight face.
Sources who have worked on the modalities of the new tax say it will be progressive in nature and will be levied on number of words for written posts, number of pixels for pictures and number of MB’s for videos.
According to reports strategic partnerships have been finalised with all major Telco’s and Internet service providers to ensure accurate billing. In addition to this the FBR got valuable input from the Interior Ministry to decide on the different brackets of taxes given the ministry’s unquestionable ability to differentiate between garden variety trolling and national security risks.
To a question regarding the expansion of the tax net FBR’s official spokesman replied, “This pretty much expands that godforsaken net in every direction possible. “Your lot is always on about thinking outside the box to eliminate age-old tax policies so here you go. Enjoy,” he added after clearly missing the point altogether.
There was uproar in the National Assembly from the opposition benches who deemed the new law a travesty of free speech followed by a walkout by PTI MNA’s lead by chief whip Shireen Mazari.
“This new tax is a big blow as it will reduce our minimum acceptable rate of 30 posts/minute across all social media outlets to less than 5 because we simply don’t have the budget to do it so close to the elections” a worried Mazari said speaking to media outside parliament while projecting a stern stare – while rubbing her index finger and thumb together – at someone who looked like Aleem Khan trying desperately to get out of her line of sight.