Government Blocks 210,000 Sims Of Non-Tax Filers

Government Blocks 210,000 Sims Of Non Tax Filers

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Pakistan (Pakistan’s tax authority) on Thursday said that it has blocked 210,000 sims of citizens who were unable to pay taxes. The rule targeting non filers aims to boost overall revenue cycle.

The FBR issued the directive on April 30 instructing the PTA ( Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to block up to 210,000 SIM cards.Also, according to the Board’s Data approximately 62,000 were subsequently restored as FBR’s Public relations manager Bakhtiar Muhammad stated “We have unblocked the SIMs of citizens who had paid their taxes”

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Additionally tax official revealed that a committe meeting took place on MAY 12 involving Finance Minister of Pakistan, FBR and the representatives of Pakistan’s telecommunication companies (jazz , telenor, ufone).All of them agreed for the manual SIM blocking system, while Zong challenged a petition against FBR’s descion.The IHC continued its session and announced that:

“IHC Restricted the government from acting against the Telecommunication Companies, they added, no stay on the FBR move”

Barrister Salman Akram Raja referred the issue to the FBR that addition of Section 114B to the Finance Act 2022 clearly violates the basic freedom of business evaluation in Article 18. He said that: The government did not acquire the authority to block people’s SIM card through legislative amendments.

The question that arises in the mind of citizens can be that: What strategies does the FBR have to ensure that blocking SIM cards of non-filers effectively increases tax compliance without adversely affecting economic activities or consumer convenience?

It’s important to consider that blocking SIM cards could potentially affect the state’s overall revenue if telecom services are disrupted. Therefore, the decision to block SIMs needs careful consideration to safeguard the country’s economy.

To the say the brief  FBR’s step of blocking SIM cards can be effective for short period of time as livelihood of many citizens is attached with phones. Also every one having a SIM card are not able to file taxes some of them are just getting oxygen from the environment.

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