Categorized | Business, National News

No Reduction In Smart Phone Duty, Says Williams

Despite a push from the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO) to it member states to reduce tariffs on smart phones, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) CEO Leon Williams recently said that this reduction is unlikely to happen here in The Bahamas until there is a major tax reform.

The reason, Mr. Williams said, is because the government would not be able to recoup the loss of revenue from a reduction in import duty.

“I think that CANTO is suggesting that if the governments want to develop Information and Communications Technology (ICT) then they must have some skin in the game,” Mr. Williams said. “The skin in the game they are suggesting that governments reduce import duty but in countries like The Bahamas where the pillars of the economy are tourism and financial services there is very little to generate in revenues for the government and as long as we remain the way we are without Value Added Tax and income taxes and customs duty as a source of revenue for government.

“So asking the government on one end to reduce that source of revenue without suggesting how the government could then recoup that loss of revenue is a challenge for CANTO as well as a challenge for the governments.”

CANTO’s 30th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition is being held in The Bahamas this week.

Its mission is to facilitate the development of ICT solutions for the benefit of its members and other stakeholders in the Caribbean region.

While Mr. Williams said other member states may be more receptive to reducing import duties on smart phones, in The Bahamas timing will dictate whether this will happen in this country.

“It’s a matter of timing,” he said. “And with suggestions being very wise on how you help governments replace its revenue stream.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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