MCIT to pilot system for telecom tax collection; fibre reaches 25 provinces

6 Oct 2017

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is close to establishing a system to collect the 10% levy on telecom services imposed in September 2015, Tolo News cites Minister of Communication and IT Shahzadgul Aryubi as saying. According to the official, the tax is currently being collected without a formal system in place, but the government has now purchased all of the necessary equipment and will launch a pilot system within the next four months. The new system will be tested on state-backed operator Afghan Telecom (Aftel), Mr Aryubi added.

The minister also provided an update on the progress of the nation’s fibre-optic backbone network, stating that 25 provinces have been connected so far, with rollouts in the remaining nine to be completed by the end of 2018. Mohammad Najib Azizi, head of the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA), meanwhile, reiterated the government’s goal of increasing internet usage to 50% of the population by 2021, adding that around five million Afghans currently use the internet including three million 3G subscribers.