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PTA Investigates FBR’s Move To Block SIM Cards For Non-Filers

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(CTN News) – In an announcement made on Thursday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced it is in the process of reviewing the decision of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to block 500,000 SIM cards belonging to non-filers.

PTA stated in a press release that, “we are actively engaging with cellular mobile operators and relevant stakeholders regarding this matter.”

According to the regulator, any developments pertaining to this matter will be communicated accordingly if they are made. It is primarily their responsibility to ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks and legal provisions while safeguarding the interests of consumers while complying with regulatory frameworks and legal provisions.

PTA made the following statement after FBR had announced about blocking SIMs of individuals who were not listed on the active taxpayer list, although they are required by the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 to file their income tax returns for Tax Year 2023 in accordance with the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 to do so.

This action was taken by the FBR in response to the prevalent tax evasion issues in the country that have had a negative impact on the economy of the country, which is already financially strained.

This move has been labeled as a “strategic step” by the Federal Reserve Board, who emphasized that non-filers can restore their cell phone SIMs by filing their tax returns for the year 2023.

As part of the compliance report due by May 15, PTA and all telecom operators have been instructed to ensure immediate compliance with the Income Tax General Order (ITGO).

It was previously reported that Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) is thoroughly evaluating this order within the legal and regulatory frameworks that are applicable to it.

As a matter of fact, it is worth noting that the FBR has been given additional powers last year in the goal of broadening the tax net.

According to Section 114B of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, if taxpayers do not respond to notices issued by the ITOA, they can be forced to disconnect utility connections and block mobile SIM cards.

Furthermore, FBR has teamed up with PTA in order to identify SIMs of under-filers who failed to file their returns despite being notified and having taxable transaction records that were available to them.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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