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Tax on Cell Phone Begins in Afghanistan

Tuesday 22 September 2015

KABUL (Pajhwok Afghan News) — The Afghan Communications and Information Technology Ministry said imposing 10% tax on cell phone users started on Wednesday.

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A mobile phone vendor in Kabul
(Photo: Bloomberg/getyimages)

Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, a spokesman for finance ministry, said the imposition will follow a presidential decree in this regard. “It is a kind of cooperation by the people with the government for us to have self-reliant Afghanistan.”

However, while the move is expected to bring revenue for the government, estimated AFN1.3 bln within next three months, experts believe the burden on the poor-majority population will be high. For example, if a person recharges with AFN100, he or she will have to get AFN10 deducted, affecting 85% of the Afghans.

Telecommunication has seen remarkable growth in recent decade in war-torn Afghanistan. Based on data, more than 20 mln mobile phones are used across the country and 2 mln use internet on daily basis. However, telecommunication services have received criticism in terms of low quality and high cost.

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