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Standard tax system for phone users in doldrums

Standard tax system for phone users in doldrums

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May 14, 2016 - 16:27

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MCIT) on Saturday said it could not activate a standard tax collection system since the law imposing 10 percent tax on phone users was passed about nine months ago.

Based on a presidential decree, endorsed by the Cabinet, a 10 percent tax was imposed on cell phone subscribers from September 23, 2015.

The MCIT created a tax collecting system without following the procurement process, an issue that sparked criticism about the system’s transparency. The ministry had said the tax collecting system is transparent and accurate.

MCIT Minister Abdul Razaq Wahidi told a meeting in Kabul today said budget for creating a standard tax collecting system was yet to be provided to them.

He said the ministry would immediately start work on creating a standard system upon receiving the required budget.

Wahidi did not provide information about tax collected so far from phone users, but said: “All the tax is directly transferred to the Ministry of Finance.”

About unregistered SIM cards used to harass people, the minister said SIM cards would be registered based on a biometric process to prevent their illegal use.

“We have shared our plan for registering SIM cards based on biometric data with the Cabinet, implementing this plan is in our high priority,” Wahidi added.

He said 25 million SIM cards were registered and 15 million of them were active now.

MCIT has repeatedly promised to prevent illegally selling of SIM cards, but has failed to do so as the illegal SIMs continue to be openly sold everywhere in the country.

mds/ma

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