Govt’s high Taxes Threatening 2015 Digital Migration Deadline
Azam TV officially Launches in Uganda
Last week Azam Tv officially launched in Uganda and the company has asked the government to forego taxes on equipment used in relaying pay-tv services, articulating that high taxes have choked penetration and threatening the June 2015 digital migration deadline.
The firm’s general manager, Mr Simon Arineitwe, told Daily Monitor the industry pays 49 per cent of revenue in taxes that include 25 per cent import duty on dishes, 6 per cent withholding tax , and 18 per cent Value Added Tax.
This is in addition to the 0.5 per cent Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) levy and the railway contribution levy, which they consider as hinderance as more people will not be able to afford pay-tv services since these taxes are all also passed on to the final consumer in form of high prices.
“Pay–tv products need to be as cheap as possible”
Even if the government removed the 25 per cent import duty on decoders, Mr Arineitwe said this waiver should cut across all equipment used in pay-tv to make services affordable and ease digital migration.
“Pay–tv products need to be as cheap as possible because they serve as cardinal steppingstones for Uganda to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting. More tax waivers or cuts will enable more people who own television sets to get on board and not be left out as the country transits to digital broadcasting,”
Azam-tv, a subsidiary Bakhresa group of Companies, is expected to tighten competition in the industry that now has about six players including Dstv, GOtv, Zuku, StarTimes and Pearl.