ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Broadcasting and Information on Thursday approved recommendations by Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) to collect 2% tax on every recharge from cellular users in Pakistan and a one-time fee on the purchase of new vehicles.
The National Assembly panel gave approval to two proposals submitted by the PBC to overcome corporation financial worries. The first proposal was for the collection of revenue from cellular users and the second one from the purchasers of new cars.
The meeting which was presided over by MNA Belum Hasnain was informed by Director General Radio Murtaza Solangi that they have forwarded a road map to the ministry of information as well as to the finance ministry to steer the PBC out of the financial crunch.
“We are facing a financial crunch and could not survive without generation of new revenue for the state-run radio,” said Solangi.
The meeting, in consultation with other members, supported the idea to collect 2% revenue on very recharge from cellular users which would be 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 already 26% is being deducted from every mobile recharge of Rs100. “Already financially crushed masses should be given a relief rather than to push them into a blind alley.”
PML-N’s Nuzhat Sadiq also objected to the idea and urged the government to find a parallel and viable option to raise a structure and to revise the policies of Radio Pakistan for introducing a new economic policy.
The committee also discussed another idea to generate revenue for the PBC by collecting a one-time fee on the purchase of new vehicles. 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 the national institution.
Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan assured the committee that the democratic 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 and guidance and support.
“Finance ministry has agreed to support these recommendations in the next finance bill,” Awan informed the committee.
Chairperson of the committee Hasnain added that a majority of Pakistani people were in the habit of using mobile phones especially in the night. “So, it will be good idea to collect money from such cellular users,” she observed.