Junta to impose new levies on telecoms services

10 Jan 2022

Myanmar’s ruling junta is set to impose new taxes on the telecom industry, Myanmar Now writes, citing a statement in Global New Light of Myanmar. The levies include an MMK20,000 (USD11.13) charge on the sale of SIM cards and a 15% commercial tax on revenue from fixed and mobile data services. Explaining the introduction of the new charges, the junta said that the levies would reduce the effect that it claims ‘extreme use of internet services’ has on ‘the employment of people and mental sufferings of new generation students’. Norwegian-owned cellco Telenor Myanmar announced that the new taxes – to be introduced by Union Tax Law 2021-22 – will likely impact the pricing for all telecom operators in Myanmar, adding that it regrets ‘the adverse impact on customers in terms of affordability of an essential service’. The taxes follow a price hike in December 2021 which saw the cost of data services nearly double, with operators claiming that the rate increases were required by directives issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC).