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AIRTEL, SAFARICOM AND TELCOM INCREASE VOICE, SMS & DATA COSTS AFTER NEW TAX

Airtel Tubonge

Mobile operators have increased costs for voice, data and SMS to reflect the excise duty that came about with the amendments in the controversial Finance Bill 2018.

Safaricom was the first to announce the new rates to its subscribers a week ago while Airtel and Telcom followed suit on Monday.

The three mobile operators have increased voice and SMS charges by 30 cents and 10 cents respectively, while data price has increased by 30 cents.

Following the changes off-net calls for Telkom will now cost Sh3.30cts per minute, on-net calls Sh2.30cts per minute and SMS (any-net) will cost Sh1.10cts per SMS.

The new rates by Airtel and Telcom were effective from midnight Monday.

Airtel’s Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma, however, said that prices of all voice and data bundles including Unliminet, Tubonge and Amazing Data bundles remain unchanged. This means that the packages pricing will remain the same.

Prasanta Das Sarma also said there will be no increase in Airtel Money tariffs as well.

Pay TV and internet firm Zuku has also increased charges for its Zuku Fiber packages.

The 15 percent excise duty on telephone and internet data services is among the additional tax proposed by president Uhuru Kenyatta last month, which is an addition to the 12 percent exercise duty that was imposed on mobile money transfers by treasury in the 2018/19 budget.

The president also asked that banks and other financial institutions be charged a 20 percent exercise duty of on fees charged for money transfers.

All salaried employees in the formal sector will also be expected to contribute 1.5 percent of their basic salary towards the National Housing Development Fund to help fund Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda on housing.

Uhuru’s amendments in the Finance Bill 2018 were passed under controversial circumstances in a divided parliament last month.

 

 

 

 

 

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