The telecom industry believes that proposed changes in taxation of call rates are not possible to be implemented.
Industry sources said that the proposed taxes are not implementable as the charging structure is not linear and is based on bundle offers to facilitate prepaid users which account for 98 percent of overall cellular subscribers in the country.
This regressive move will play havoc with the prepaid bundles being enjoyed by the lowest segment of society as the operators will be constrained to remove such offerings, making voice calling significantly more expensive.
In addition, users will quickly learn to redial before 5 minutes to defeat this proposed levy; hence, it may bring nothing to the government but add to the complexity for the telecom sector and operators while causing massive inconvenience to the citizens. The overall tax on mobile phone calls lasting more than five minutes will reach 65 percent.—TLTP