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Why you may soon pay more for calls and data bundles
By Kelley Boss | Updated Sep 19, 2018 at 16:11 EAT
Photo [courtesy]

The cost of bundles and telephone calls is likely to go up 

Recently telco giant Safaricom announced a new data plan

Following backlash over rising fuel prices affecting cost of living among Kenyans, President Uhuru Kenyatta has proposed an increase in tax on telephone calls, data and mobile money transfer as he seeks to fill the budget deficit. 

The cost of bundles and telephone calls is likely to go up with the tax on calls and data set to increase from 10 to 15 percent.

“Telephone and internet data services shall be charged excise duty at a rate of 15 percent of their excisable value,” read the new proposal.

More to that, the levy charged for sending money via mobile phones will go up from 12 to 20 percent of the chargeable value. 

“Excise duty on fees charged for money transfer services by banks, money transfer agencies, and other financial service providers shall be 20 percent of their excisable value,” he added.

In July, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich increased the levy to 12 percent which triggered telcos to increase charges.

The most affected institutions are mobile telephone companies and banks, which are expected to raise their charges in the wake of the sharp jump in taxation.

In addition to the new tax measures, the Head of state has proposed bold moves aimed at reducing government expenditure, with the twin actions having the net effect of cutting the total budget by Sh55 billion from the initial Sh3.02 trillion. 

Recently telco giant Safaricom announced a new data plan that heavy WhatsApp users should take note of.

In the new plan, daily bundles have been subdivided into three categories: 50MB, 150 MB and 500MB.

The 50MB package goes for Ksh20 and comes with 50 SMS while the 150 MB package will cost you Ksh50 and comes with 150 SMS.

The 500MB package goes for Ksh99 and gives you 500SMS.

Those who prefer the weekly subscription have also been taken care of in the 350 MB (Ksh99) 1GB (Ksh250) and 3GB (Ksh500) packages.

The monthly subscription will now have 2GB (Ksh500), 5GB (Ksh1000) and 15 GB (Ksh2000).

To access these packages, customers have to dial *544#.

Interestingly, users will still be able to send messages via WhatsApp even after their bundles are depleted. 

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