Zicta to assess ICT sector tax

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) plans to conduct a cost of service study and engage the government to revise the tax policies in the ICT sector to achieve meaningful tariff reductions.

Consumer bodies and other stakeholders in the country feel the cost of communication in Zambia is too high, compared with that of other countries in the region and want ZICTA to bring down the cost.

But in a statement, ZICTA public relations manager Ngabo Nankonde said the telecom sector regular is planning to conduct the cost of service study and engage the Zambian government on tax revision policies in the ICT sector.

She said the cost of service study would enable ZICTA to update the cost models and determine the true cost of providing ICT services.

Nankonde said the study will give the authority a basis upon which to implement regulatory remedies through instruments such as price caps to reduce the end user tariffs to a reasonable level.

“The revision of tax policies on the ICT sector would also provide the opportunity for operators to reduce tariffs by passing on the benefit of incentives and cost reductions to consumers,” Nankonde.

She said the Authority is actively engaging mobile operators and other licensed operators with a view to reducing tariffs.
She added that recommendations have already been made to government regarding the tax burden on the ICT sector. Further, the authority is updating the cost models. This will all culminate in a reduction in end user tariffs once concluded, said Nankonde.

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