Operators upbeat on tax waiver

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Operators upbeat on tax waiver

By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda

The Ugandan digital TV sector has welcomed the government’s decision to waive the 25% import duty on set top boxes (STB) for a year. This development was announced in the recent financial budget 2012-2013 by the Minister of Finance, Maria Kiwanuka.

“The government through Ministry of ICT, UCC, NITA-U, initiated the idea (tax waiver) on behalf of Government. It is aimed at stimulating the switch from analogue to digital,” noted public relations officer of ministry of ICT David Kiirya.

The decision is a relief to the stakeholders in the industry.

Multichoice Public relations officer Tina Wamala said: “We were very much encouraged by the Government’s decision to remove taxes on Set Top Boxes. This one-year waiver will allow us to save money which we can use to make further investments in our business, including infrastructure development, technological advancements and customer care process improvements aimed at further augmenting our product and service offering to our subscribers.”   

The same views are shared by Star Times Digital Television Marketing manager Simon Arineitwe, “Obviously there's a relief as per the budget, because import duty was 25%. Cutting this ultimately has a substantial effect on the market price. He also notes that it is the right timing when the country is undergoing the implementation phase of its digital migration.

The move is aimed at enabling the masses to buy the set top boxes at a reduced price. Currently, the STBs range from UGX 60,000-250,000. However, the government will not compel the operators to sell the set top boxes at a specific price.

The operators are upbeat about the tax waiver and are already promising a better deal for customers.

“Our customers should expect the best offers on the market plus an excellent customer service”, notes Arineitwe. Multi choice’s Tina notes, “This move will have a very positive effect on the industry and help stimulate uptake of digital technology among the masses because the tax waiver will give us the operators the opportunity to reduce our prices to the end users.”

She also commends the government for the move noting: “The tax waiver demonstrates to us the operators that the Government understands the country’s need to honor its regional obligations and the importance of the digital migration to the entire economy which is the reason the (STB) tax waiver is one of the few that has been introduced this financial year. 

The operators, however, fault the government for the time frame of the tax waiver on STB noting that the one year period is very short. Tina explains: “The tax waiver period though (one year) is very short ideally we would have wanted the Government to remove taxes on STB for a lot longer so as to ensure as many people as possible would be able to enjoy the benefit; you see there are only a given number of decoders that we the operators can import into the country every year yet the number of televisions households is far greater and growing steadily.”

She adds that global demand for STB is currently very high, and ideally this tax waiver should be kept in place till 2016 well after the Global migration deadline elapses.

Digital migration is a process during which services that operate on analogue network are transferred across to digitally based network over a specific period of time.

The main purpose of the migration process is to ensure that all services operating on the analogue network will be fully replicated on the digital network with the aim to switch off the analogue services at a specific point in time.  



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

Search News

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policy

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More

No deal with MTN on fine, says ComTech minister

Nigeria’s Communications Technology Minister says no concrete deal has been sealed in respect of the fine imposed on MTN. Read More

CA rejects misleading reports on Essar sale

Francis Wangusi, Ngene Gituku and Christopher Wambua The Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya board of directors, Ngene Gituku, has refuted allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct around the sale of Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd. Read More

Smart Africa seeks One Africa Network

ICT Ministers and telecoms regulatory bodies meeting in Kigali have resolved to implement the new One Africa regional telecommunications framework initiative this year. Read More

Kenyan mobile operators fail on QoS targets

The Communications Authority of Kenya says Kenya’s mobile operators have failed to meet Quality of Service standards for the third year running. Read More

Glo Ghana sanctioned for call setup time delays

The Ghana NCA says it has sanctioned Ghana’s sixth network operator, Glo, for failing in its Call Setup Time obligation within the Greater Accra region. Read More

Facebook post costs Kenyan $50000

A social media user in Kenya has been fined Kshs 5million for allegedly defaming a member of parliament on social media; in a ruling that will set a precedent on any future internet cases in Kenya. Read More

BTCL lists on local bourse

A journey that began close to a decade ago has culminated in the first successful privatisation of a Botswana state entity – BTCL. Read More

Huawei appointed lead ICT consultant for Uganda

Huawei has been appointed as a lead ICT consultant in Uganda, and has named ten Ugandans to benefit from its Seeds for the Future development programme. Read More

GSMA, others reject Nigerian electronic tax bill

The GSMA, ALTON, ATCON and NATCOMS have rejected the Bill for the Establishment of a Tax on Electronic Communication Services in Nigeria. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks UnlimitedArbor Networks
Advertisement

FEATURED STORY

Criticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecsCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs

The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.

IN DEPTH

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South AfricaIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa

IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.