Tax paid on cell phone top-ups to be spent on education

Myanmar cell phone users forced to pay an unpopular tax on top-ups may get some consolation from this: the initial proceeds of the tax will be spent on education, the government has promised.

Maung Maung Win from the Ministry of Finance and Planning said that more than K7 billion was raised in April from the tax, which requires users to pay a levy of 5 percent on top of calling and data charges when they add credit.

As part of the new administration’s 100-day plan, which technically started in April, that cash will go towards schools, the Voice reported.

Maung Maung Win said that the government would announce the sum earned each month from the tax, and change what it gets spent on.

The mobile phone tax was imposed in 2015 by the previous military-backed government but proved so unpopular that they suspended it for one fiscal year.

Until 2014, when Ooredoo and Telenor entered the market, the former government had a monopoly on telecoms in the country.

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