ISLAMABAD: The international body representing telecom operators has expressed concerns over the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) decision to block mobile SIMs of individuals not appearing on the active taxpayers’ list for 2023.

GSMA Asia Pacific Head Julian Gorman has written a letter to Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication Shaza Fatima Khawaja expressing concerns over the Income Tax General Order (ITGO) issued by FBR on April 30 regarding the blocking of more than 500,000 SIMs.

The GSMA has highlighted that the ITGO will affect citizens and businesses, as well as the vision of Digital Pakistan and especially the digitisation of FBR.

“Measures like this ITGO may have unintended consequences, particularly for vulnerable segments of the population and

The execution of ITGO may also restrict connectivity for potential mobile device subscribers and users, especially children and female family members, affecting individual development and well-being.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2024

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