Tajik lower house approves mobile tax proposal

29 Nov 2010

Tajikistan’s Majlisi Namoyandogan (Assembly of Representatives), the country’s lower parliamentary house, has approved a 3% excise tax on mobile phone use, Central Asia Newswire reports, citing local news source AsiaPlus.tj. The government, it is understood, has claimed that the new levy will generate an additional TJS30 million (USD6.8 million) per year, which will be directed towards the development of the social sector. In order to finalise the legislative proposals it must now be considered by the upper house, the Majlisi Milliy (National Assembly), before being passed to the president for final approval. Tajik finance minister Safarli Najmiddinov has claimed that should the new tax be introduced customers should not be greatly impacted, noting: ‘The annual income of all mobile providers in the country makes TJS1.8 billion and operators will pay additional tax at the expense of their incomes.’ Opposition politicians have, however, questioned such claims, with the head of the Islamic Renaissance Party, Muhiddin Kabiri, stating: ‘I think the new tax will mainly affect users of mobile phones since the introduction of the tax will lead to a definite increase in prices for mobile services.’