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LAST UPDATE: 24/9/2008 - 5:58PM EAT

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Opposition wants tax holiday for cellphone companies abolished

2008-08-16 10:22:24
By Guardian Reporter, Dodoma

The Opposition has proposed that mobile phone companies be taxed heavily, saying they are reaping a lot from wananchi.
Presenting views of the opposition on the budget estimates for the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology yesterday, shadow minister Said Arfi said it was not fair for the government to impose airtime tax on consumers while giving mobile phone service providers tax holidays.




stephen said...

This call is way overdue ,it is no secret that on a monthly basis the cellphone companies reap millions of dollars in revenue. Now how do you justify them not paying taxes while the subscribers basically pay tax for every dime of air time they purchase?

I am totally against this whole tax holiday issue, government should intensively seek and create other incentives that do not involve tax relief...they justify this by claiming that they want to guarantee that investors are guaranteed a return on their investments, but is there any mechanism that monitors and verifies when they have already achieved a satisfactory return?

And what about working on improving the business environment? With proper legislation, decreasing bureaucracy and improving infrastructure? Couldn't such measures "guarantee" returns? But wait a minute, How do you go about doing that if they do not pay taxes?

What is worse is that these tax incentives do not really improve the lives of the population at large, only a few people are employed in these companies, in the entire value chain. They therefore are not in the national interest especially when they carry on long after these companies have secured enormous returns.The big beneficiaries are the "local" shareholders who among them are prominent members of the government.....remember speaker msekwa was chairman for vodacom? He probably still is.

In such a situation it is difficult to see any real changes to the status quo especially as these companies have on their boards and their equity portfolios the very people who ought to make decisions and implement policies that affect their businesses. Such a situation also ensures that they have very influential lobbying power.

Anonymous said...

African Politics nightmare. Corporate love loopholes, and they will keep sucking us to death.