Published on September 6th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti0
Criticism Of Telecom Policies By Telenor
Recently we have been discussing the recent slowdownin telecom growth in Pakistan. In a recent interview, Irfan Wahab Khan, Executive Vice President Telenor Pakistan, sharply criticized the recent policies of Pakistan government and PTA. He mentioned the high rate of tax – 21% – as a major issue for telecom industry. He also talked about the Rs. 500 subsidy provided by mobile companies for each SIM card sold and the controversy over handling of illegal SIM sellers.
We tend to agree with him. The last budget went overboard with the tax increase on telecom services. If an industry is doing well and is successful in bringing foreign investment to Pakistan (Wahab pointed out that Telenor alone invested $2 billion in last 3 years), let it work without the burden of unnecessary taxes.
There were other grievances as well. Irfan also said that his company was not against the quality surveying of the service providers but it should be transparent and impartial. I think Telenor did not do very well in the QoS surveys and there has been criticism of the way these surveys were conducted.
He appealed to the government to call a roundtable conference of all the service providers to get rid of the illegal sims being used for crime and the terrorist activities while the police action against retailers and franchisers should be stopped.