Iraqi government abolishes tax on mobile data top-up fees

Prime Minister Al-Sudani chaired the fifth session of the Council of Ministers on the 22nd of November 2022 whereby it was announced that tax on mobile data top-up fees would be abolished after being imposed for over 5 years. In a statement by Al-Sudani’s office, seen by the Iraq International News Agency, it was stated that “a number of issues that impact day-to-day lives were discussed.” This included the 20% tax on mobile data charges which was resulting in “a high cost in communication in Iraq.” 

In order to alleviate the burden on citizens, the Council of Ministers announced it will implement this decision from the 1st of December 2022. The Media and Communications Authority will undertake the appropriate measures to recover the fees collected before the aforementioned date, and send them to the public treasury as soon as possible. 

The Minister of Communications, Hayam Al-Yasiri, announced in a press conference: “following the decision to abolish mobile data tax, prices will return to the same as they appear on the card.” Previously, customers were expected to pay 12,000 dinars on a card that displays 10,000 dinars worth of mobile data. 

Professor Amin Al-Salami, Public Relations Officer at Al-Shahed Foundation for Press and Media in Babylon, explained that “there is no doubt that mobile phone companies exploit customers by imposing communication fees at high prices and in return, those prices are not proportional to the service provided.”

Dr. Jaber Hameed, a professor at the University of Karbala, explained that “we cannot overlook or ignore the revolution taking place in the world of communication, and it is considered one of the advantages of industrial development”. Dr. Hameed added, “it is therefore important for Iraq to be involved in these globalised technological advancements and changes.”

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