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MPs want mobile phone tax reduced

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2003 03:00 AM

MPs want a further opening up of the communications industry to reduce further mobile phone tariffs and expand internet access in the country.

MPs want a further opening up of the communications industry to reduce further mobile phone tariffs and expand internet access in the country.

By Okello Jabweli
MPs want a further opening up of the communications industry to reduce further mobile phone tariffs and expand internet access in the country.

The recommendation is contained in a report of the committee on works, housing and communication on the 2003/4 budget and ministry policy statement.

The committee chaired by Nathan Byanyima (Bukanga) said years after the Government opened up the sector, mobile phone services remain largely unaffordable.
“Even the roll-out programme stipulated in the licences of MTN and UTL have not progressed to the satisfaction of the committee,” it said.

The committee attributed the high tariffs to the less aggressive nature of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in protecting consumers and the slow spread of internet services and the exclusive rights granted to the two mobile phone providers.

It urged the Government to open up the sector to other players once current agreements giving exclusive rights to the two companies expire.

Byanyima also urged UCC to be proactive by setting tariff caps instead of letting private players to determine them.

The House yesterday approved the works ministry budget allocation of sh130b for recurrent and development expenditure.

Works minister John Nasasira opposed the committee recommendation that the Government ceases to use private contractors for its works.

MPs want mobile phone tax reduced

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