The Finance Minister of Punjab province announced today that it has withdrawn the controversial internet usage tax it planned to impose on all types of broadband service.
The announcement was made during the government’s budget speech after widespread criticism of the heavy tax, which pundits warned would slow adoption of 3G and 4G services, ProPakistan reported. Many had feared other provinces would likely follow suit and introduce similar taxes.
The government of Punjab said at the end of May it would introduce a 19.5 per cent tax on all internet services (via 3G, 4G, DSL and fibre) with a speed of 2Mb/s or higher or a monthly bill of PKR1,500 ($14.50) or more.
A week ago more than 100 Pakistani bloggers and internet firms blacked out their websites to protest the new tax, and the head of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) supported calls for the tax to be dropped.