Amidst the country’s continuing economic and political crisis, Sri Lanka’s four major telecom operators have implemented a 20% increase in their mobile, broadband and value-added tariffs from 5th September.
In a joint statement, Airtel Lanka, Dialog Axiata, Hutch and SLT-Mobitel said that the changes were necessary due to tax increases and the escalating cost of operating, largely brought about by the the devaluation of the Sri Lankan rupee. The tariff hikes have been approved by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL).
Sri Lanka’s government increased VAT on all telecoms services from 11.25% to 15% back in June, reversing a tax cut from December 2019. From today, VAT on pay-TV services has increased from 1% to 15%, while overall pay-TV prices have increased 25%.
The TRCSL’s data showed that for June 2022, factoring in VAT and other levies, telecommunications services were taxed at an effective rate of 31.4%. The was some reprieve for internet services as the telecoms levy does not apply to them; the effective rate in this instance is 14.3%.