by David Karani
Safaricom subscribers are to dig deeper in their pockets effective tonight when the mobile company is set to increase tariff on voice calls, data and SMS citing the recent 15 per cent excise duty tax levied on telephone and internet services under the Finance Act 2018.
A statement by Chief Executive Bob Collymore said that it has raised the cost of calls by 30 cents, and SMS by 10 cents effective midnight.
“Additionally, we have also reviewed our prices for mobile data bundles, Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) to effect the new 15 per cent Excise Duty tax on internet services. The full tariff guide has been filed with Communications Authority of Kenya as required by law and is available from our website, USSD, and all our customer touch points,” the statement added.
The company noted that new tariffs were a consequence of the recent changes in taxes as contained in the Finance Act 2018.
In particular the Excise Duty tax applicable on Voice, SMS and Data services was increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. This is in addition to the prevailing Value Added Tax applicable to mobile services at the rate of 16%.
“Therefore, as a result of the increased taxes passed in the Finance Act 2018, we wish to notify our customers that from midnight tonight, the 18th October 2018, our headline price for voice calls and data will increase by 30 cents and SMS by 10 cents,” explained Collymore.
He, however, reckoned that the firm remained committed to delivering great value to Kenyans. “We have since then been undertaking extensive engagement with the Government on the impact, timing and exact nature of services that these taxes will affect.”
Collymore hoped the changes will not affect the remarkable gains the country has made in mobile phone and internet penetration over the last two decades. “We are aware of and regret the impact these additional taxes on our customers.”