Private telecom operator seeks govt’s support to increase investments

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The Telenor CEO shared that telecom sector had an investment potential of about US$1 billion.
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Leading private telecom operator that brought around $185 million Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Pakistan during last two years, has now requested the government to provide assistance to help it increase company’s investments.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Telelor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan during a meeting with the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh briefed him about the history and services of the company.

According to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry, he expressed the intention to increase the company’s investment in the country with help and assistance from the government. He briefed that this week the company received additional capital of Rs 7.4 billion ($45 million) into Telenor Microfinance Bank from Ant Financial and Telenor.

“This brings the total FDI to $185 million in the last 2 years alone as equity injection into Telenor Bank/Easypaisa to grow Pakistan’s digital payment ecosystem,” he stated.

The CEO also shared that telecom sector had an investment potential of about US$ 1 billion which could be tapped. He also briefed the adviser on his plans to improve and provide latest telecommunication services in AJK and GB.

He said during the Coronavirus pandemic, the use of IT services helped the economy in a positive way but as the resources of the people were shrinking they were also optimizing. He requested the adviser to grant certain concessions for the further growth of the sector.

The CEO requested that in view of the ongoing economic situation of businesses in the country FBR may be asked to rationalize the withholding tax/ GST on telecommunication services.

He also requested that the issue of SIM Issuance Tax might be settled out of court to bring on an amicable end to this matter. Other issues regarding the renewal of licenses were also discussed. The adviser appreciated the contribution of the telecom sector in the development of the country and said it was an important sector which had been helping the people in many ways; from job creation to communication and in providing digital access to financial services.

He assured all possible help and support for the telecom sector for the prosperity of the country and the industry, the statement added.

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