Revenue generation: New tax proposal to keep Radio Pakistan on air

Published: February 24, 2012
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Mobile users and car buyers to face 2% tax to revive Radio Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

Mobile users and car buyers to face 2% tax to revive Radio Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

In a bid to pull the ailing Radio Pakistan out of a deep financial crunch, a National Assembly standing committee approved recommendations by the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) to collect 2% tax on every recharge from cellular phone users and a one-time fee on the purchase of new vehicles.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Broadcasting and Information on Thursday approved the recommendations in a bid to generate additional funds for the state institution now tottering on the brink. The plan envisages a broadcast cess of 2% on users of cellular phones and one-time cess of Rs4,000 per unit on sale of all categories of motor vehicles which are equipped with radio receivers.

The meeting, presided by MNA Belum Hasnain, was informed by Radio Pakistan Director General Murtaza Solangi that they have forwarded a road map to the Ministry of Information as well as the finance ministry to nurse the PBC back to financial health.

“We are facing a financial crunch and cannot survive without the generation of new revenue for the state-run radio,” said Solangi. The government-run radio has 3.5 million minutes of valuable recording in archives which is being digitalised, he informed the committee, adding that 100,000 minutes have already been digitalised and made available on YouTube channel the PBC’s. The meeting, in consultation with other members, supported the idea to collect 2% revenue on every recharge from cellular users which would enable Radio Pakistan to collect Rs4 billion per annum.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Shakeel Awan, however, raised objections to the idea, saying that 26% was already being deducted from every mobile recharge of Rs100.

“The public should be given relief. The government can’t push them into a blind alley,” he said. PML-N’s Nuzhat Sadiq also objected to the idea and urged the government to find a parallel and viable option to help the radio sector and revise the policies of Radio Pakistan.

With regards to the one-time fee from car buyers, members of the National Assembly panel contended that the person who can afford a vehicle of Rs2.5 million can also contribute some money for the revival of an ailing national institution.

Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan assured the committee that the government will not burden the poor masses by any means. She said that the government has presented a comprehensive package to resolve the problems faced by the PBC including the recommendations which have been put before the committee for further guidance and support.

“The finance ministry has agreed to support these recommendations in the next finance bill,” Awan informed the committee.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 11:21AM

    These honorable MNA’s drawing million’s of Rupees from the national exchequer should be made to pay for this. They get thousands of Rupees in medical reimbursements, thousands of Rupees in house rent, thousands of Rupees in entertainment allowances and a long list. Why burden the common man? Already we are paying Rs 50 in Wapda bills in the form of TV fees (which is being charged from Mosques, Schools etc.) 26% is already being deducted from every mobile recharge of Rs100. Will this end any where? For the information of readers a recharge of Rs. 60/- gives you Rs. 50 balance.

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  • Halima Rauf
    Feb 24, 2012 - 5:44PM

    It is shocking news for us. Now Govt. will impose 2% in the name of radio tax! By the way, why the common man is penalizing towards all mishaps happening in the country? Why Govt. cannot take any measures to control their excessive and illogical expenses? Why inflation rate is going high & high? Is there any accountability on the part of Govt.? Is common man can approach to Assembly and confront the wrong decisions. If organization are at default stage, let it be, but don’t make life miserable of a common man. Govt. has already imposed many taxes, i.e. on utility bills, over the product(s), on the salary, why we have to pay all taxes and we are paying without getting any benefit of health, quality education, clean environment and WHAT ABOUT THESE ALL MINISTERS / ASSEMBLY MEMBERS – who are even not paying bills, taxes and using different tricks to curb the money from a common person? Why depression / frustration rate is so high in Pakistan? Mrs. Awan if you have any guts then kindly do reply my questions and allow few citizen of clean habits of this country to see the embezzlement in your Cabinet / Presidency?

    A common person of this country.

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  • Feb 24, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Its time to buy Android mobiles!

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  • Aasim
    Feb 27, 2012 - 5:26PM

    This is absolutely ridiculous. In an attempt to save one already sunk institution, they are risking the most lucrative industries of the country. These illiterate politicians from PPP can only come up with these lame and insane ideas. Instead of taking measures to revamp Radio Pakistan, this incompetent government is trying to raise funds from some other area. Our Economy has already been devastated by these ill-willed and illiterate politicians, and after having successfully destroyed almost all sectors of our economy, perhaps Telecom and Automobiles are the only two sectors which are SAFE (Comparatively speaking) from the atrocities they have inflicted on our poor economy. So with the current attempt of further taxing these two sectors (please note that Telecom sector is the highest tax contributing sector of the economy), they are trying their best to somehow sink Telecom and Automobiles as well, succeeding which they would accomplish their mission of taking the BEST REVENGE they wanted to take through democracy from this poor Nation.

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