Pakistani Websites Blackout in Protest against Internet Taxes

According to an official announcement given by Digital publishers at a press conference, held in Lahore, today all Pakistani bloggers and internet firms have decided to shut down their websites in protest that held against the increment in internet subscription charges by Government of Punjab.

In this week Government of Punjab has increased the taxes to almost 19.5% on all internet service mainly for the consumers with 1,500 or more monthly bill and using 2Mbps or more broadband speeds.

This increment in tax executed by Punjab Government will be imposed on all internet services in Punjab comprising of 3G, 4G, DSL, EVDO, fiber etc while the other provinces are also expected to keep on with this suite

Another statement given by digital publishers who is supported by the cellular mobile operators, banks, consumer associations, PASHA and ISPAK and civil society is that all the top leading websites have already shut down their main pages as a result of the protest demonstration against the increased taxes of internet.

All bigger Pakistani websites and bloggers are participating in this national protest and wants instant removal of additional taxes on internet.  Another statement by Digital Publisher shows that this increase on internet tax is going to harm the present 3G and 4G interest that since its ;aunch has reached to almost 15 million subscriptions in one year.

This year Punjab is expected to collect almost Rs. 3 billion through these taxes, though, on the other hand, the national economy of Pakistan will bear the expected loss of approximately Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 billion in next five years.

The research shows that 10% interest in internet subscriptions raises the national gross domestic production to almost 1.5% while the slowness of interest subscription because of all these taxes is just going to destruct the current economy of the country.

However, on the other hand, Punjab government is struggling hard for digitization of the province by introducing numerous projects from PITB as well as through the annual distribution of hundred thousands of laptops for students and simultaneously it is now increasing the internet subscription charges to block the growth and intellectual aptitude of young generation as well. This increase in taxes will also harm the development procedure of online banking sectors, online education and e-health facilities.

Fact Sheet:

o   10% increase In internet interest will give results in 1.5% increase in Gross Domestic Production.

o   For example, Rs. 40 billion will be added in our national economy if 18 million populations out of 180 million will get connected to internet.

o   Pakistan is expected to get a tremendous increase of Rs 1,180 billion in its economy in upcoming five years along with the present internet interest rates.

o   Tax revenue will get an extent to almost 71 billion in form of business growth or several other sectors for government in next five years because of the rise in GDP due to internet consumers.

o   If this tax will be applied then Punjab government will get Rs. 1.5 to 2 billion contrary to the loss of several hundred billion Rs.

o   All those figures that are quoted for economy and taxes are noted from research titled of PLUM “Economic and Social Benefits of 3G in Pakistan”.


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