Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Cancelling Mobile Phone Levy will ‘Damage’ Govt Revenue

Cancelling Mobile Phone Levy  will ‘Damage’ Govt Revenue

KABUL - A day after the Wolesi Jirga – the Lower House of the Parliament – voted against the 10 percent tax levy on mobile phone users, the Ministry of Finance said Thursday the move will cause ‘serious damage’ to government’s income.
The ministry said an alternate plan should be sought to fill the gap – if the process is stopped.
According to the ministry, government has set a target of 150 billion AFs as its incomes this fiscal year and that it has to hit the target.
“The tax levy has been approved as an income source in the national budget. If they (MPs) want to remove this, we should find an alternative source for financing the budget,” said Abdul Qadeer Zadran, incomes director of the finance ministry.
He said they are discussing the issue with the Wolesi Jirga.
This comes after the majority of MPs in the Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday voted against the 10 percent tax levy  – a levy introduced in 2015.
Members of the Wolesi Jirga’s Telecommunication Commission, who carried out an investigation into the tax collection process, said the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology should have collected 14 billion AFs in the past two years.
However, according to the commission, only about 7.9 billion AFs was collected during this period.
The commission also claimed that the process lacks transparency and monitoring.
“The continuation of the process of collecting 10 percent tax from telecommunication services customers has resulted in money not going to government’s treasury and instead the public’s money is being wasted,” said Qais Hassan, head of the Wolesi Jirga’s Telecommunication Commission.
“The money which is collected from the people is pouring into the accounts of private companies but it does not go to the government’s treasury,” said Musa Nusrat, a member of the commission.
At Wednesday’s session, the Wolesi Jirga members cancelled the tax collection process after a majority vote. They said this was because the process was not transparent and did not meet the required norms. (Tolonews)