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Afghans this week were up-in-arms over government’s new 10 percent tax levy against communication services which will directly affect mobile phone subscribers.
The public’s concern is not however so much about the levy but about the possibility of the money being embezzled.
One Kabul resident, Habibullah said: “We don’t think it is an issue if government imposes a new tax on us, but the money should go to national treasury not into personal accounts.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has said that the projected revenue collection against the new tax will be about 2.5 billion Afs in the last three months of the financial year.
“We are trying to introduce the new system within two or three months for collecting of tax which comes from communication services, this will help government to jointly collect the taxes with the private communication companies,”
spokesman for the ministry of finance, Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai said.
MoF officials have warned communication companies against embezzling the money and said that any company found guilty of tax irregularities will face legal action along with huge fines.
According to statistics, currently up to 23 million Afghans use communication services.
The Afghan government recently enforced the move and has ordered communication companies to collect the money and transfer it to government treasury.
“There are huge problems, they steal money under different pretexts, government and companies must have monitoring systems in place over this issue,” a resident of Logar province, Gul Mohammad said.
“We are determined to prevent the issues, however, we do not reject the problems in the new system, but we are committed to prevent embezzlement of the money,” a spokesman for the ministry of communication Salim Samim said