Pakistan Drops tax on SIM Cards

January 8, 2015 Taxation in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The government of Pakistan is providing financial incentive for telecoms companies to ensure that they do not allow terrorist groups to use their mobile phone services.

At a meeting held in Islamabad on January 6th the Finance Minister of Pakaistan Ishaq Dar agreed in principal to waive the tax levied on the sale of SIM cards, and to also reduce the fees charged for verification of SIM cards, as a means of providing compensation to telecommunications companies faced with new anti-terror laws.

Under Pakistan’s National Action Plan, telecommunications companies are now required to verify the each SIM card being used in the country, in an attempt to root out the use of SIM cards with unverified owners, which could potentially be used for anonymous communication by terrorist groups.

In order to help alleviate the financial burdens faced by telecommunications providers under the anti-terror laws, the government may temporarily waive the tax levied on the sale of a replacement SIM cards, over the time period between January 12th and February 28th.

The PKR 23 fee levied for the verification of a SIM card by the National Database and Registration Authority will also be slashed to a level of PKR 10, as part of the measures to ease the cost of compliance with the National Action Plan.