Pay up early, mobile companies told
The government has called for telecommunication companies to speed up declaration of their revenues and pay their debts by the end of the month to enhance tax collection from the industry.
A joint announcement by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications on Wednesday said Prime Minister Hun Sen had approved the demand for all telecommunication companies in the country to declare their revenue and debts to the ministries by the deadline.
Im Vutha, spokesman for the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), applauded the measure taken by the government to improve revenue collection.
“Normally, those companies have to declare with the ministries in March,” he said.
“The ministries set the deadline at the end of the month because the government wants them to declare their revenue in advance.
“We are happy with the actions as those telecommunication companies are already making profit so they also have to pay the proper tax to the government. We also want them to comply with the law.”
The call came amidst rise of unfair competition claims among the mobile operators, in which some services are offered to the public below cost.
The TRC will hold a meeting on the issue early next month.
According to the joint announcement, if companies fail to comply with this requirement, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication will take serious action with public announcements on media such as TV and radio, specifying the name of the company and the amount due.
“The management of those companies will be requested to present themselves at a meeting with the inter-ministerial working group to settle the issues,” it said.
Jonathan Yap, head of regulatory and corporate affairs at Smart Axiata, said the ministries’ actions are in line with the objectives of the Telecommunications Law and the respective reforms that are currently taking place in the country.
“This is a strong focus on creating a level playing field among all operators whether in terms of abiding by the same set of rules or requirements on tax and fee payments,” said Mr. Yap
“We commend and support these initiatives as it will result in all operators being treated similarly and competing on a fair basis in terms of offerings and future sector investments – a situation that will benefit the industry, society and ultimately the Cambodian government,” he added.
According to data from the TRC, by the end of last year, there were six mobile companies with 19.45 subscribers — of which 7.4 million were internet subscribers.
There were eight landline phone companies with 229,962 subscribers and 33 internet service providers with 97,386 subscribers.
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