ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication met in Islamabad on Thursday under the Chairmanship of Senator Shahi Syed.
While inquiring about the action taken by the Ministry on the recommendations of committee given in its last meeting, regarding payment of pension to the pensioners of PTCL at the rate announced by the Government from time to time, the Committee was briefed by the Ministry that the matter is still subjudice in the apex court.
On a query raised by the Chairman Committee regarding next date of hearing of the case it was apprised that the same has not been fixed till yet. The Chairman Committee further inquired about the efforts of the Ministry made by them so far in that regard.
Responding to another query raised by the Chairman Committee regarding release of outstanding salaries to the teaching staff of the TIP School and College as recommended by the Committee earlier, it was apprised that all the payments have been made to ten employees who have been released by PTCL and rest of them are in litigation.
This agenda was deferred for the next meeting and Chairman directed Ministry to give briefing about their efforts in that regard as well as other Committee recommendations given by the Committee earlier.
Regarding the mechanism adopted by FBR for collection of Taxes from cellular operators, the FBR representative briefed the committee that they have established a new Intelligent Tax System with the help of PRAL (Pakistan Revenue Automation pvt. Ltd.) which will help out to analyze the exact data of taxes collected by the Mobile Phone Operators. Through this System the exact usage and taxes collection process will be properly monitored by the FBR. For this purpose a Pilot Project for real-time connectivity is being launched which might will start working by the end of January 2017.
Senator Rehman Malik asked about the details and figures collected on account of withholding tax from cellular phone subscribers and the mechanism adopted for returning the same to them. FBR replied that a mechanism is being worked out and in three to four months they would submit a detailed report to the Committee in this regard.
Chairman of the Committee also observed that it was a serious issue whereby billions of rupees is being collected on account of GST, WHT and Service charges from cellular subscribers, even those poor people of Pakistan who do not fall under the tax network and unfortunately the FBR has still no mechanism to analyze the data of taxes collected by Telcos resultantly the FBR has failed to provide relief to the common men. Members of the Committee suggested that legislation may be brought in the Parliament in this regard.
The Chairman Committee also directed to provide comprehensive details of Sales Tax / FED deposited by the Telcos into the Government Treasury of Federation as well as all Provinces, during the last three years.
Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi, Convener, of the Sub-Committee also presented Report of the Sub-Committee which was constituted to redress the grievances / problems being faced by the USF to launch its projects in the Provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. While highlighting the salient features of the Report, he appreciated the cooperation extended by the ministry of I.T. & USF and also felicitated the members of the subcommittee for their efforts and role played by them during proceedings of the Sub-Committee.
During the meeting, it was clarified that USF funds reserved for FATA and other less developed areas of the country have not been utilized for construction of a stadium in Sialkot.