Pakistani Telco Blocks Non-Filer SIMs Under FBR Pressure

Pakistan’s tax collection efforts have taken a new step with a leading telecom company blocking SIM cards of non-tax filers. This action comes amidst a dispute between the company and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).


  • FBR’s Order: The FBR previously issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) directing the blocking of mobile phone SIMs for over 500,000 individuals who haven’t filed tax returns for 2023.
  • Telecom Delays: Telecom operators initially expressed concerns and requested more time to implement the ITGO due to system limitations and potential legal challenges.
  • Manual Blocking Agreed: On May 10th, after some delays, telecom operators agreed to manually block SIMs in small batches.

Latest Development:

  • One Telco Blocks SIMs: A leading telecom company has initiated blocking 3,064 SIM cards belonging to non-filers.
  • Protest Against FBR’s Deadline: The company emphasizes that this action is taken under protest due to concerns about exceeding the May 15th statutory deadline set by the FBR.
  • Potential Litigation Feared: The telecom operator also cites potential litigation arising from the blocking process and the associated financial burden.

Current Situation:

While one company has begun blocking SIMs, the broader situation remains fluid. It’s unclear if other operators have followed suit or if the FBR will address the concerns raised by the telecom company regarding deadlines and potential legal disputes.

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