Naureen Aqueel

Say no to thumb tax!

Posted on: July 7, 2009

An edited version of this article was published in CIO Pakistan magazine, July 2009.

Just how important SMS (Short Messaging Service) is to our youth was revealed when the government announced 20-paisa tax per SMS in the budget for the new financial year 2009-2010. There was an uproar among the youth of the country when the government announced its decision to levy a tax on SMS, responding to which cellular companies said they would have to withdraw their discount packages from July 1. 

SMS is one of the most popular past times among the youth, not to mention an integral means of remaining in touch and communicating with peers, fellow students and work colleagues. It is no surprise then that our youth was outraged when the government announced 20-paisa tax per SMS. Youth took to the streets in Lahore to protest against the decision, and cellular companies also registered their concern with the respective quarters through the PTA. Protests were also doing the rounds in chain SMS messages and in cyberspace. The protests proved successful when the government announced that it was withdrawing the decision to tax SMS due to the huge demand from the youth. Hats off to the youth!

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