Increased taxation does not seem to have deterred Sri Lankans from increased usage of mobile phones and Internet during the first eight months of this year, data from the Treasury indicated.
The number of mobile phones in use increased by 13.8 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 28.1 million from January to August 2017, which was approximately seven million more than the population in the country. Meanwhile, the number of Internet subscribers increased by 29.5 percent YoY to 5.5 million.
This increase in service usage comes amidst higher taxation on the sector. The mobile telephony market leader, Dialog Axiata PLC, during the first nine months of this year paid 18 percent more in taxes to the government YoY, amounting to Rs.27.9 billion.
In fact, the highest tax burden was on the consumer through indirect taxes, since Dialog reported that it had collected Rs.20.5 billion in indirect taxes on behalf of the government, which was a 35.8 percent YoY increase.
Dialog had paid fewer direct taxes as a result of slightly lower profits.