Tajik private communications operators reportedly lost half a million dollars last year

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According to data from the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, Tajik private communications operators (mobile phone operators and Internet service providers) lost half a million dollars last year. The communications service agency, on contrary, earned additional 5.2 million U.S. dollars last year.

In 2019, private communications operators provided 2.409 billion somoni worth of services to their customers, which was nearly 5 million somoni (equivalent to more than 515,000 U.S. dollars) fewer than in 2018, according to the Agency for Statistics.

In 2018, private communications operators' revenues reportedly amounted to 2.414 billion somoni.

Meanwhile, revenues of subdivisions of the Communications Service under the Government of Tajikistan, on contrary, increased from 216 million somoni in 2018 to 267 million somoni in 2019.

Recall, the Tax Committee under the Government of Tajikistan has attributed its failure to fulfill the 2019 tax collection target to activities of mobile phone companies.

Last year, Tajikistan reached 96.1 percent of its tax collection target, Nusratullo Davlatzoda, head of the Tax Committee under the Government of Tajikistan, told reporters in Dushanbe on February 12.

According to him the budget received 516 million somoni (equivalent to more than 56 million U.S. dollars) less than it was originally planned. Of this amount, 432 million somoni were reportedly lost due activities of mobile phone companies.

Since 2015, mobile companies have been gradually moving from voice service of customers to other modern kinds of service, which are not regulated by the country's legislation. Today everything is done via the Internet, and we have begun to receive taxes in small amounts, Tajik tax chief officer noted.

He further added that many mobile companies had slowed down their activities compared to the previous years, and some of them are losing the market.

Experts, however, attribute decline in revenues of the mobile phone companies in Tajikistan to high taxation, establishment of the Unified Electronic Communications Switching Center and other obstacles put by the government in the way of the mobile phone companies over the past decade.

According to the Antimonopoly Agency under the Government of Tajikistan, four mobile operators, namely Closed Joint-Stock Company (CJSC) Indigo Tajikistan, CJSC TT-Mobile (Megafon Tajikistan), CJSC Babilon Mobile and Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) Tacom (Zet Mobile, formerly Beeline), are on the register of companies having dominant position on the country's telecommunications market.

According to data from the communications service agency, there are more than 6.1 million mobile phone subscribers in Tajikistan, with more than 4.8 million of them being active mobile phone users.

The number of Internet users in the country, including mobile Internet, is more than 3.2 million people.

Source: Asia Plus