How to Restore Blocked Mobile SIMs for Income Tax Non-Filers in Pakistan
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Discussions between the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and mobile companies have hit a deadlock over the issue of blocking SIMs owned by more than 500,000 tax non-filers. According to well-informed sources, the meeting, convened at the FBR headquarters, failed to yield an agreement as mobile phone operators cited technical and operational hurdles for their refusal to block the SIMs.

Read Also: FBR and PTA Clash Over Blocking SIM Cards in Pakistan

Telecom companies have raised concerns about the legality of implementing SIM blockage and have declined to provide assurances during the talks. Despite the possibility of further negotiations between the FBR and mobile operators, companies have shown reluctance to comply with the SIM blocking directive.

Earlier, telecom operators reached out to the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MoITT) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) seeking intervention, labeling the FBR’s order to block mobile SIMs of non-filers as unconstitutional and a violation of the Telecom Act.

Recently, FBR issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) aimed at deactivating mobile phone SIMs belonging to over 0.5 million individuals who are not on the active taxpayer list but are required to file Income Tax Returns for Tax Year 2023.

The ITGO instructed PTA and telecom operators to ensure immediate compliance and submit a report to FBR by May 15 regarding the implementation status.

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