Telecom operators have warned the public to get ready for regular outages of ‘phone calls’ across the country just like electricity loadshedding after the federal government increased the taxes on the telecom industry.

The development emerged from the recent meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance during which the representatives of the telecom companies raised serious concerns about the tax hike.

During the meeting, the representatives of telcos said that the federal government has raised the advance tax on imported fiber optic cable by 15% while duty has been increased by 20%.

They claimed that the telecom companies are already grappling with several challenges and the increase in taxes on fiber optic cable will put an additional burden on the telecom industry.

The representatives of telcos said that fiber optic cable is only used in 10% of towers across the country, adding that Pakistan will lose the global connectivity race in case the government doesn’t reduce taxes on fiber optic cable.

They requested the committee to recommend the government decrease the taxes on the import of fiber optic cable to 8%. The committee ensured the telecom companies to forward their suggestion to the government.

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