Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa has just unveiled the country’s 2017 National Budget which has outlined some of the proposals for fiscal management in the coming year.
One of the proposals presented in the address is the introduction of a 5% levy on all mobile phone airtime and mobile broadband. This is expected to go towards a Health Fund.
This becomes the latest form of taxation levied on telecommunications services. In 2014 the government introduced a 5% levy on all airtime purchases for mobile telecoms.
Local mobile operators ended up assuming the 5% levy as a way of ensuring that the cost of airtime for the end consumer wouldn’t be affected. However, all operators have since expressed concerns about the impact that the tax had on their already falling revenues.
It’s likely that this new health levy will also put a dent on telecoms revenues and put further strain on service providers in both voice and broadband services.