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Tag Archives: tax

RFP deadline extended to 31st August: Study to assess the potential of the NOFN for rural connectivity in India. For more details see RFP.

How do you tax service suppliers who are outside your territory?

This is a battle that was brewing. Mode 1 trade in services is when the supplier is in Country A, the buyer is in Country B and the transaction occurs over some means of communication, usually electronic. Given the costs of telecom these days, it really does not make sense to open warehouses/server farms in […]

Bangladesh Finance Minister withdraws mobile tax

BDnews24.com reports that The minimum tax of Tk 3,000 was endorsed by the MPs, barring those from the boycotting opposition, while the Minister withdrew his proposal to impose tax at source on mobile phone bill.

Bangladesh: Tax on mobiles pulled back?

Less than a month ago, we expressed an opinion on the Bangladesh Finance Minister’s proposal to pile on more taxes on mobile use. Obviously, we could not have been the only people who objected, but looks like it has worked. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given to pressure from exporters as she asked Finance Minister […]

Different perceptions of risk: electromagnetic radiation, second-hand smoke, diesel fumes

Given below in sober scientific language is the outcome of decades of deliberation: After a week-long meeting of international experts, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), today classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is […]

Regional lessons brought to bear on Bangladesh plan to impose more taxes on mobile

The Government of Bangladesh announced its intention to impose more taxes on mobile bills last week. My op-ed in the Daily Star drew on economic principles and regional experience. There is no debate about the government requiring money. A dynamic sector such as telecom must make its fair contribution. Collection leakages in telecom are much […]

Governments should decide: Is mobile telephony a bad or a good?

Gregory Mankiw is a gutsy economist. He defended outsourcing while still serving in the Bush administration. He is a also a good economist. He could make a living on textbooks alone. He is now advising Mitt Romney as he campaigns for the presidency. In an interesting op ed, he lays out some simple principles for […]

Skype is eating telco’s lunch

The awaited end of rapacious money making from international calls is nigh, according to Telegeography. International long distance traffic growth is slowing rapidly. According to new data from TeleGeography, international long distance traffic grew four percent in 2011, to 438 billion minutes. This growth rate was less than one-third of the industry’s long-run historical average […]

Unintended benefit from Sri Lanka budget: More reasons to get broadband

The language on ICTs in the 2012 Sri Lanka budget (paras 50-53) is pretty vague. Basically, LKR 500 million will be added to efforts to provide IT education and all government departments and agencies will have to work with the ICT Agency when they introduce IT into their systems. And, there are plans to set […]

Sachs on mobile phones, “the single most transformative technology for development”

Jeffrey Sachs is a superstar. His advice contributed to the mess in post-Communist Russia, but that did not hinder him in any way from dispensing advice elsewhere (I met him when came to Sri Lanka in 2002; after I told him what we had done or were doing on telecom, he moved on to dispense […]

Telecom sector: Not a “lemon to be squeezed”

When discussing our Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) indicator, we first introduce the concept of regulatory risk. I emphasize that it is not limited to the regulatory agency’s actions, but to all government actions that have a bearing on the operation of the company. The list of woes afflicting Vodafone in India is illuminating. “The combination […]

UK drops expensive universal service plans

We expressed skepticism when the Labor Party first announced it. We are pleased it is being cancelled. The previous Labour government hummed and hawed about this rural-urban “digital divide”. Eventually, in 2009, it proposed levying a 50p tax on every fixed telephone line in the country: the proceeds were to be given to BT to […]

On the benefits of services trade

Services trade, especially mode 1 services trade where the buyer remains in the buyer’s country and the seller remains in the seller’s country, is critical to the development of emerging economies. India has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of liberalized trade, but the NYT article below shows that the US is also a clear […]

Pakistan Telecom Authority shows futility of raising mobile taxes

The Pakistan Telecom Authority in their December 2008 quarterly review gives the reasoning behind the government’s decision to impose high taxes on mobile phone use. To reduce the high fiscal deficits, the government had increased taxes. The increase for the telecom sector was over 40 percent; for other sectors it was only seven percent. However, […]

Sri Lanka: A bad tax made technology neutral, finally

It is reported that the one million or so customers of Sri Lanka Telecom who have wireline connections can now look forward to paying the same amount in taxes as the ten million or so customers (mobile and fixed) who connect wirelessly (across GSM and CDMA platforms). We have opposed telecom specific taxes; but even […]

Bangladesh government’s effort to slow down mobile growth finally likely to bear results

In its 2005-06 budget (Khaleda Zia) the Bangladesh government imposed a regressive Taka 900 tax on each SIM that was issued.   We describe the tax as regressive because, if it was passed on to customers, it would hurt the low-user segment (generally the poorer segment) of the market more, because it’s a fixed tax that […]

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