Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Cellular carriers are raising the levy on mobile top-ups as part of their mini-budget

ISLAMABAD: The advance tax rate on prepaid mobile phone recharges has been hiked by 5% following the ratification of the Supplementary Finance Bill, often known as the mini-budget.

Users were advised by cellular service providers that the advance tax on prepaid cards had been increased from 10% to 15%.

Following the rise, a total of Rs27.80 would be taken from a Rs100 recharge, leaving a net balance of Rs72.20 instead of Rs76.10 once the higher taxes are applied.

Also read: 16 bills were rammed through the National Assembly, including a mini-budget

The increase in the advance tax rate will result in a deduction of Rs13 instead of Rs9.10 while general sales tax (GST) will remain at Rs14.80 on mobile top-up.

Consumers were already paying heavy taxes on telecommunication services but the mini-budget will put extra burden on the masses.

The prices of medicines have also been increased due to the mini-budget of worth Rs360 billion, which was passed by the National Assembly last week with a majority vote in line with the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF had set five prior conditions for the revival of the $6 billion stalled programme, including the passage of the mini-budget and giving absolute autonomy to the central bank with the federal government keeping no check on its functioning.

Also read: The government plans to call a NA session on the mini-budget on January 10th

The government also succumbed to pressure exerted by local car assemblers and increased the sales tax rate to 12.5% on the import of electric vehicles — even higher than the initial 5% rate it had proposed while introducing the “mini-budget”.

It also waived off 15% income tax in favour of a couple of wealthy families of the country.



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