Reuters / File
After facing severe criticism, Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said on Friday that Prime Minister Imran Khan and the cabinet “had not approved” a federal excise tax on Internet data.
Azhar assured everyone that the law will not be included in the final draft of the finance bill which has been submitted to parliament for approval.
“The Prime Minister and the Cabinet did not approve the FED tax on the use of Internet data,” the minister tweeted.
The minister released the clarification after budget documents circulated with the media showed the government imposed a federal excise tax of Rs1 on mobile phone calls exceeding three minutes.
The proposal also states that a tax of Rs0.1 per SMS and a tax of Rs5 per GB on internet data usage have been proposed.
The budget document states that the proposal was made “to reap a reasonable income” from the telecommunications sector.
Azhar’s clarifying tweet raises the important question of why the proposal was included in the documents when it was not approved by cabinet.
Interestingly, his clarification also came when the government was criticized on social media because of the move.
Here’s a look at what people have said about it:
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