“Green” tax to be imposed on mobiles?

Posted on October 30, 2007  /  8 Comments

The Lakbima newspaper (30 October 2007) reports that Central Environmental Authority Chairman and Jatika Hela Urumaya politician Udaya Gammanpila is advocating a “green tax” on mobile phones, tyres, electronic equipment and asbestos.

It appears that the JHU has a vendetta against the 6 million plus mobile users in Sri Lanka. They originated the idea of taxing mobiles to pay for government expenses (an amended law to this effect was enacted in September 2007); and now they want to impose another tax, this time in the name of the environment.

Why not on fixed phones? On computers? On cars?


  1. According to Wikipedia, ‘Green Tax’ or ‘Eco Tax’ is a fiscal policy that introduces taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives. Such a policy can complement or avert the need for regulatory approaches.

    Examples of ecotaxes are:

    * Carbon taxes on the use of fossil fuels by greenhouse gases produced.
    * Severance taxes on the extraction of mineral, energy, and forestry products.
    * License fees for fishing and hunting.
    * Specific taxes on technologies and products which are associated with substantial negative externalities.
    * Garbage disposal taxes and refundable fees.
    * Taxes on effluents, pollution and other hazardous wastes.
    * Site value taxes on the unimproved value of land.

    As far as I know, no country in the world has implemented Eco taxes on mobile. (Mr. Gammanpila please correct me if I am wrong)

    Eco taxes cannot be imposed on an item arbitrarily. Mr. Gammanpila should explain what negative impact mobiles have on the environment.

    Yes, use of mobile phone has a negative impact on the environment (specially erecting towers) but on the other hand it has a positive externality too by reducing the travel and thus fuel consumption. In this case the positives overweight the negatives.

    Don’t JHU find anything better to do?

  2. It is ironical that JHU, a political party that has benefitted illegally and unethically from selling the tax free car permits of their MPs, trying to tax others.

  3. God_Sakra@tawthisa.com

    Sadhu. Sadhu. Sadhu.

    That is the voice of the 33 crore Buddhist gods who have become so happy to hear the JHU decision to tax the mobile phones. Gods do not use phones. They communicate by telepathy. So gods are not worried about this tax.

    I, Hon. God Sakra, am particularly happy with this decision because that will make SMS more expensive and people will stop sending me SMS whenever they are in trouble. (After my pandupul chair broke I am also using SMS now, if you have not heard)

    We are surely moving towards Dharma Rajya. More and more Mobile Tax is the sure way.

  4. One pollutes environment more when one farts than uses a mobile phone.

    So If Mr. Udaya Gammanpila wants to impose ‘green taxes’ please consider a ‘fart tax’ first.

  5. you’re right
    someone has to bare the cost of environmental clean up
    landfills cost money
    so i think the mobile phone clean up cost should be shared by the telcos
    let dialog, mobitel etc. pay for the landfills – a CSR project

  6. *typo – bear not bare

  7. I think they are already doing it: http://www.dialog.lk/en/corporate/press/releases/pressRelease.jsp?id=168. Why does the government want to take over what they are already doing without a tax?

  8. I think this Tax is very important tax. Since It is helpful to recycle e-wasting……