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“Recharge and SIM” purchase is also taxed… [Customers are always tormented by arbitrary decisions]

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Rabindra Dhungel, Kathmandu, Fri, 9 Aug 2020 . Mobile users now have to pay 2 percent more tax on every recharge and SIM card purchase. The Finance Act presented by Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada in the parliament on Jeth 15 had a provision to charge 2 percent mobile ownership fee on every SIM card and Richard card under the title of telephone ownership fee. Telecom service providers have started its implementation from Shrawan 1, the day of the start of the new fiscal year.

 

Nepal Telecom has been protesting on social media after sending an SMS to all its customers informing them of the tax hike from the new fiscal year. Khatiwada, who has been criticized for raising 13 percent tax on internet through the budget two years ago, has also increased the tax on recharge and SIM card by 2 percent in this budget. Earlier, the tax on this title was fixed at Rs 500 for one time on landline phones and postpaid SIMs. Now, consumers will have to pay 2 percent additional tariff when buying any SIM and recharge card. The one-time ownership fee of Rs 500 for postpaid mobiles has been removed.

 

 

In case of mobile telephone, telephone ownership fee will be charged at the rate of two percent of each SIM card and recharge fee. The body providing telecommunication services will have to collect this fee and deposit the fee in the revenue account within the 25th of the next month, ‘the Finance Bill said,’ If the fee is not filed within the period, 15 percent interest will be collected from the concerned body annually. ‘

 

Khatiwada, who is in charge of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has included this issue in the Finance Bill without even informing the stakeholders. “Two years ago, after charging 13 percent for telecommunication services, Nepal’s internet was one of the most expensive in the world,” said an official of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority. “Now, taxes on voice and data have also gone up.”

 

Access to mobile services has reached 100 percent of the population, while Internet access has reached 72 percent of the population, according to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority. Of that, 55 percent access is through mobile internet. According to this provision, 2 percent amount will be deducted from the tax even if you top up through Nepal Telecom, Ncell or any other service provider’s recharge card or online.

 

At the same time, the tax paid by consumers using telecommunication services has reached at least 28 percent. Earlier, consumers were paying 13 percent telecommunication service fee and 13 percent VAT while consuming telecom services. Now two percent tax has been added.

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