ISLAMABAD, June 2: The telecom sector, which has played a critical role in reviving the economy over the last few years, has reached a saturation point and its contribution to national kitty has started declining.

The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11 highlighted that telecom sector contributed Rs109.1 billion to the national exchequer through taxes, licence fees and other duties, which is about Rs2.5 billion less than the previous year.

The survey said federal taxes and general sales tax collection from the telecom sector also declined, impeding the usage of telecom services due to high tax rates. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom sector has also seen a decline of Rs508 million despite an investment of $1.13 billion by telecom operators and vendors.

With regard to the hardship faced by the telecom operators, the survey said: “Total local loop (land line and wireless) telephone subscribers stood at 6.14 million in 2008-9 and did not show any improvement during the year rather a drop of one per cent specifically fixed line (land line) subscribers.”

The Long Distance International (LDI) operators, the survey said, were struggling. “Since the de-regulation (privatisation of PTCL) LDI industry has been trying to develop a stable business model where customer satisfaction could be achieved while keeping sizable profit margin intact.”

Due to high volumes of traffic (international and local termination of calls) being carried by the LDI companies, revenue generation has always been a highlight of LDI operation. The survey said at the time of deregulation in 2004, 14 LDI licences were awarded, of which nine companies are currently operational.

Over the penetration of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) services, the survey put broadband penetration in Pakistan at the end of December 2010 at 0.66 per cent.

According to the survey, the revenues of telecom sector improved “steadily” in 2009-10 and witnessed 6.5 per cent growth rate. The total telecom revenues reached Rs357.7 billion in 2009-10 compared to Rs333 billion the previous year.—Our Reporter

Opinion

Is it child abuse?
24 Sep 2021

Is it child abuse?

The SNC’s language mix doesn’t address our children’s emotional needs.
The gathering storm
Updated 24 Sep 2021

The gathering storm

The growing US-China rivalry has transformed the geopolitical scene, in particular the Asian strategic landscape.
New realities and challenges
Updated 23 Sep 2021

New realities and challenges

Will the Afghan Taliban entrust to the UN the responsibility of receiving and disbursing all aid?

Editorial

24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...
Dialogue, at last
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Dialogue, at last

The govt has attempted to make the ECP controversial at a time when its input is critical for the poll reforms
AUKUS controversy
Updated 23 Sep 2021

AUKUS controversy

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table.
Provocative act
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Provocative act

Afghan Taliban flags have been found hoisted at Jamia Hafsa seminary three times since Aug 21.