ISLAMABAD - Wasim Ahmad, CEO, Wi-tribe has said that the recent improvement in security is resulting in more business opportunities but high telecom taxes are creating hurdles in the growth of internet industry in the country.

High telecom taxes are hurting both the service providers and the end consumes. Government and operators need all hands on deck to work out this lingering issue in order to rapidly improve broadband access and transition towards a knowledge economy, said Ahmad in an interview to The Nation.

In budget 2015-16 new taxes were imposed on internet and data use. After the new 14 percent Advance Income Tax, imposed on fixed lines, mobile phones and broadband internet, users are presently paying around Rs 30 on a payment of Rs100.

According to reports Punjab was estimated to collect around Rs3 billion in account of telecom taxes, however a corresponding negative growth to national economy in five years was estimated to Rs200 billion.

Ahmad said that industry was investing all the efforts and resources but lower taxes and other business friendly policies could trigger a rapid growth in telecom industry.

Pakistan’s internet penetration currently stands at 18 million and we are the 18th largest middle class in the world. In order to keep pace with the future demands we are expanding our infrastructures and adding terabits of bandwidth so that our customers continue to get the same high speed and lag free internet experience in future, Ahmad said.

He said that although war on terror adversely affected the business industry in the country in last many years but with the recent improvement in law and order the new opportunities are arising.

There have been times, when PTA needed to take necessary measures, but nothing is more important than the safety of people and we along with all the industry stand by the government for a more peaceful Pakistan, CEO said.

He said participating in ITCN Asia 2015 exhibition held recently, was a wonderful experience and wi-tribe’s exciting new mobile apps and innovative solutions were very warmly received.

He said in Pakistan his company was entering corporate market by providing state-of-the-art enterprise solutions and services.

Our recent introduction of 3 major digital apps (Buzz, wi-tribe TV and resQ) were a stepping stone to our vision of enabling a more digital lifestyle for our audience, he said, adding witribe is committed to develop a robust broadband eco-system in Pakistan, while focusing our efforts on customer convenience, digital lifestyles and innovative mobile applications and to meet the current and future expectations of our customers and the growing market.

Ahmad said that the last few years have seen a dramatic change in the ICT sector of Pakistan and he hopes that the future will be even brighter.