We all missed the obvious flaw, but not Malinda. The full credit for detecting that you are taxed differently for the same service should go to the eighteen year old from Kurunegala – the ever vigilant consumer. He pointed out in the latest post in his local language blog for a 512/128 kpbs Wi-Max connection you may have to pay about Rs. 675 as tax (30%) but for a 512/128 kpbs ADSL connection you pay only Rs. 337.50 – half of that. (The figures might not be exact but the argument still valid)
Why a Wi-Max broadband consumer should pay 100% more tax than any of her ADSL counterpart for the same service is an interesting question. Wi-Max technology does not pollute environment more or Sri Lankan government (or regulator) is not necessarily biased towards wired solutions over wireless. It is just that the two tax components 10% mobile tax and now 2% environmental levy are unique to ‘mobile’ services.
Wi-Max is very much a ‘fixed’ technology (compare with 3G) but one still get it from Dialog – better known to public as a ‘mobile’ telecom services provider. (Strictly speaking it should be Dialog Broadband Networks) So you are taxed additionally for ‘mobile’ services, while no such mishap when receiving ADSL services from SLT – most still know as the good old ‘fixed’ phone services provider!
Take this hypothetical case: If Dialog decides to sell their publication ‘Zero77’ (now given free) do we have to pay 30% tax for that too?
Should we just ignore this as another farce of the ridiculous tax structure?