Telecom sector contributes Rs 18.9 b as GST/ CED
ISLAMABAD, May 30 2006: The GST/CED collection from telecom sector has reached Rs. 18.9 billion mark during the first three quarters of 2005-06 which is Rs. 5.1 billion higher as compared to the same period last year. According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), 70 percent of the General Sales Tax and Central Excise Duty contribution came from mobile sector during the period. The regulatory Authority in its quarterly telecom review said the telecom sector is increasingly contributing in the national exchequer and the GST/CED collection from this vital area during Jan-Mar 2006 reached Rs 7.1 billion as compared to Rs 4.1 billion in the corresponding quarter of last year.
During the quarter, Telecard and Link Direct International have deposited Rs. 119 million under the head of GST/CED, it added. The PTA further said with the expansion of Long Distance International (LDI) operations, the GST/CED contribution from LDI operators is also increasing. Regarding Universal Service Fund (USF), which has been introduced to meet the needs for basic telecommunication and ICT services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country, the review said around Rs. 2.084 billion have been collected in this account during the first nine months of current fiscal year.
Prior to deregulation of telecommunication sector, the only contributor to universal services obligation was PTCL. However, with the new licensing regime in place, all the telecom licence holders including Local Loop (LL), LDI and Mobile will contribute in the USF. It is expected that access to the USF fund would provide sufficient incentive on its own to trigger investment in geographic service extension. So far, LDI operators have deposited the revenues from incoming International traffic terminated on cellular mobile networks into the Universal Service Fund account, maintained by the Authority.
Source: Daily Times