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Govt increases tax on overseas phone calls
 
 
 


KARACHI (Online) - The government of Pakistan has increased tax on telephone calls coming from abroad, despite opposition by the Competition Commission of Pakistan. According to reliable sources, the Competition Commission opposed the rise in taxes but the government did not support it. The increase has encouraged formation of cartels of telecom companies at international level, and also led to paving way of illegal gateway exchange in Pakistan, sources added.Sources informed that the cartel of international telecom operators is possibly going to establish their monopoly. In addition, the consumers are left with limited choice and are forced to call to Pakistan paying an extra amount. Sources in Telecom sector further told that the rise in tax on incoming calls has affected 8 million Pakistanis. The telecom operators were receiving different charges for phone calls coming from abroad, which maintained an environment of competition among them. Now, the tax imposed on these calls has amplified the government revenues but it discourages the trend of competition.  After the government increased the taxes, telecom operators imposed a settlement rate, as a result of which their income increased, also magnifying the revenue of Pakistan. However, the callers from abroad will be charged extra bills.Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh has issued directives that the business community should be taken into confidence regarding the security measures.According to a police statement on Tuesday, the Additional IGP Karachi has been instructed to hold dialogue and arrange meetings with the elected representatives of the traders and industrialists in order to take them into confidence regarding the steps undertaken by the police so far.The IGP further directed that in the light of the suggestions and recommendations of the traders and businessmen, the policing plan should be upgraded. He said that the traders’ community be also apprised of the special cells that have been established in the offices of the zonal DIGs.These cells, it was further stated, are working in collaboration of Anti-Extortion Cell and Anti-Violent Crime Cell for tackling the crimes like extortion, kidnapping for ransom etc.Leghari also instructed that on the reports of extortion from the cattle markets and the people, prompt action be ensured. He directed that police deployment around cattle markets be enhanced along with deploying plain-clothed policemen and officials of special branch.

 
 
on epaper page 13
 
 
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