Telecommunication mobile telephone tax revenue rejected by the Afghanistan Parliament

Date: October 16, 2015
Occasion: MPs plenary meeting
Subject: Discussion on Telecommunication mobile telephone tax revenue
Discerned by: The Parliamentary Monitoring team of the FEFA

The endorsed decree (#60 dated 26/05/1394) of the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E Ashraf Ghani declared on the 10% tax fee on the mobile telephone communications and has been officially applied by September 23, 2015 as of 1st Mezan, 1394. After the return of the Afghanistan Parliament Members from their annual leaves, on (22/05/1394) during the plenary meeting of the Parliament, this issue has been taken in the agenda of discussion. Parliament members voted on the issue as the result of votes (177 Negative and 08 Positive) and this decree has been rejected from the parliament side.
However, the communication fee tax is not a special case happening in Afghanistan but it has been practicing in world countries and remained a focal revenue support segment in their national budget. Turkey with the highest revenue 48% of the collected communication tax and the China with the lowest 3% of the annual collected telecommunication taxes and currently this system have implied in 111 worldwide countries with different percentages .
On (22/05/1394) the Parliament has evoked the Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) to provide more clarifications on the mobile telephone tax fee issue but the minister did not attended, instead the deputy minister in Finance and Administration Affairs of (MCIT) has attended and he could not gained the contentment of the MPs. Locals and the MPs urges as of current statistics of the (MCIT), there are 23.21 million users of the mobile phone in the country , with simple calculations, in average if a single person utilizes 50 AFN in a day he/she will be taxed with 5 AFN per day; thus (23.21 user multiply with 5 AFN as a tax in a day is equal to 116.05 million of AFN per day) but the MCIT announced only 78 million AFN of tax fees collected within almost 20 days!

Despite the weak economy of the Afghanistan residents the communication price is the highest in Afghanistan with the lowest quality in comparing with all neighbored countries. Therefore, it is questionable for the Parliament members and among locals, in general the Parliament MPs and majority of mobile phone users are not completely against the tax fee but they claims for transparency, accountability and a clear system to be used for this revenue as well other taxes have been collecting by the government in other sectors too.


1-http://www.gsma.com/publicpolicy/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/gsmaglobaltaxreviewnovember2011.pdf
2-http://mcit.gov.af/en/page/4876/6005

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