Pakistan’s telecoms sector has undergone a sharp downturn over the past year, with revenue from mobile falling by 1.8% and a dramatic drop in direct foreign investment.
In total, DFI plummeted by 72% to $121 million for the fiscal year ending June 30th, while the telecoms industry contributed 50% less in taxes compared to the previous year – PKR126 billion, down from PKR243 billion.
Mobile operator revenue for FY15 dropped to PKR317 billion ($3.03 billion), compared to PKR323 billion for the previous year.
Compounding the situation, Pakistan recently implemented a shift towards biometric subscriber verification that resulted in overall connection numbers dropping by 18%. At the end of the fiscal year, a total of 114.7 million subscribers remained – down from 140 million in FY14.
Sales tax on numerous types of imported mobile devices has been doubled this year by the Pakistani government, and can now be anywhere from PKR300-1,000 ($3-$10). Meanwhile, the region of Punjab implemented a sales tax of 19.5% on internet usage at the start of June.