What can the Sri Lanka government do regarding mobile taxes in interim budget

Posted on February 5, 2015  /  1 Comments

A 24/7 news channel interviewed me about the mobile-only taxes proposed by the new government. It is not online (yet) so I cannot give a link.

The last question I was asked by the interviewer was about my recommendations to the government.

Here is what I said:
1. The proposal that the mobile operators should pay the 25 percent tax on voice calls currently paid by mobile users should be withdrawn. It makes no difference to the government’s revenue requirements. There is no complaint from the public about high mobile prices. It is an unnecessary solution to a non-existent problem. There is no need to impose an additional cost of LKR 32 billion on the five operators. Especially retrospectively.
2. Desist from imposing technology-specific taxes. If taxes are to be imposed do not differentiate between mobile and fixed, satellite and fiber and so on. Best is to withdraw these taxes. If that cannot be done impose the same tax on all participants in a market, irrespective of technology.
3. Back off from imposing the LKR 250 million retrospective tax on each of the mobile companies. They will get hammered with the super value tax. Isn’t this overkill?

1 Comment