AS a student enrolled in an online learning programme, I find internet connectivity to be prohibitively expensive, largely due to the high taxes imposed on internet services. Currently, out of every 100-rupee recharge, a hefty 35 per cent is deducted as taxes. This taxation rate is among the highest around the globe and poses a considerable financial burden on students and their parents.

The digital revolution has really made internet access a fundamental necessity for education. With the Covid pandemic having accelerated the shift towards online learning, reliable and affordable internet connectivity has become more crucial than ever. However, the high cost of internet services due to excessive taxation is a barrier that impedes the educational progress of many students across Pakistan.

Reducing these taxes would have a profound impact on the accessibility and affordability of digital education. It would enable more students to participate in online learning platforms, access a wider range of educational resources, and ultimately enhance their academic performance. Moreover, it would support the government’s vision of a digitally literate and empowered youth.

The government should reconsider the current tax policies on internet services to not only alleviate financial stress

on the families, but also contribute to the development of an educated and technologically proficient population.

Usman Faheem
Rawalpindi

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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