These past few years have been particularly rough for many Kenyans. This as the ongoing global crisis that is the COVID-19 continues to hit the country, affecting people’s livelihoods and businesses alike.
Things are only set to get even dicier as the state goes on to implement the Finance Act 2021, which is an amendment to the Excise Duty Act 2015.
This amendment sees the excise duty on telephone and internet services revised from 15 percent to 20 percent, effective July 1, 2021.
In response, we’ve seen Telecom companies in the country coming out to effect the same tariffs on their offers to their customers. These Kenyan telcos have all raised their airtime and data prices as a result.
Safaricom remains the biggest player in the Kenyan market and boasts of upto 68% of the Kenyan mobile subscribers which means that their changes affect the largest chunk of the Kenyan mobile users.
Safaricom is adjusting the price of its calls, SMS and data offer to reflect the increase in excise duty taxes. Users of Safaricom’s Fibre services for both home and business are equally affected and so are the Postpaid customers.
Luckily, the company says it is not implementing this change on data bundles purchased though the *544# USSD code and advices users to check out their personalized Tunukiwa offers on *444# in order to get the best value for their money.
Also affected with this increase in Taxes is Safaricom MPESA’s overdraft service, Fuliza.
“Dear Customer, following the signing of the Finance Act 2021, starting July 6th, 2021 Fuliza daily fees will include 20% Excise Duty. Access fees remain at 1%. Dial *234# for the revised Fuliza charges,”Safaricom
The Finance Bill, 2021 that was signed into law earlier this week was expected to see . Luckily, Airtel’s move shows that it’s just the rates that might have to be revised and not to a significant degree.
Telkom’s price for the Pay-As-You-Go Telkom-to-Telkom Voice will increase to KES 2.78 with effect from July 6, 2021. Pay-As-You-Go Voice price for off-net calls will also rise to KS 4.30. Telkom Customers will also spend more to send an SMS within the Telkom network and across other networks at KES 1.15.
You can learn more about Telkom Kenya’s new rates on the telco’s official website https://www.telkom.co.ke/review-telkoms-headline-prices
Worth noting is that, Telkom’s mobile data bundle prices will not be affected.
Like Telkom Kenya subscribers, Airtel Kenya customers are also looking at a KES 2.78 per minute for on-net and off-net calls.
However, Airtel has made it clear that it has ensured data and voice bundle prices remain unchanged. This means subscribers will not have to pay more to buy Airtel’s Amazing, Unlimited or Tubonge bundles.
These new tariffs should see Kenyans dig deeper into their pockets for carrier services. Add that to the increased prices of cooking gas, petrol, household commodities like cooking oil, maize flour and you begin to see the dark times that Kenyans are staring at.