Finance Bill 2024: Govt Proposes Increase in Call & Internet Charges


Kenyans could from July 1, be forced to dig deeper in their pockets to make phone calls and pay for internet if the Finance Bill 2024 is passed as drafted by the National Treasury.

In the proposed amendment, the National Treasury has proposed a hike in excise duty charged on telephone and internet data services from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

The bill has proposed the deletion of the expression ‘the rate of fifteen per cent and replacing it with the expression “rate of twenty per cent.”

By hiking taxes for calls and internet access, telecommunication companies could be forced to pass on the extra costs to Kenyans.

President William Ruto (right) and Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u in April 2021.

Photo

Kenyans.co.ke

The bill also proposed an increase in excise duty for money transfers, Kenyans could therefore be forced to fork out more to send money.

The latest development comes amidst President William Ruto’s ambitious target for digital infrastructure with the Head of State championing nationwide free access to the internet. 

Access to the internet has been at the forefront of the Head of State’s drive to innovate and enhance mobile phone services and ease operations for the self-employed.

According to statistics, there were about 22.71 million internet users in Kenya at the start of 2024, when internet penetration stood at 40.8 per cent.

It is not the first time the government has proposed an increase in call and internet charges, in the 2020/21 fiscal year, the government similarly proposed an increase in the two services from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

Other services that were included in the hiked charges included Short Message Service charges.

Similarly in 2018, the government increased call and internet charges from 10 per cent to 15 per cent 

Meanwhile, the Treasury in its proposed law also called for an increase in excise duty for betting, gaming and prize competition from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

A group of people accessing the Internet through smartphones.

Speedefy



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