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Taskforce looks into smartphone prices

June 17, 2014 7:10 pm

The Finance Ministry will soon be looking into whether concessions on smartphones announced in the 2014 budget are trickling down to consumers.

There is zero duty on smartphones currently on sale in the market.

Finance Permanent Secretary Filimoni Waqabaca says a task force that will look into smartphone prices has only recently become functional.

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It includes the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, the Ministry of Trade and the Finance Ministry.

“Our officials will be undertaking those versification as to whether the benefits are actually being seen on the ground. That’s where we are right now. The taskforce will be doing surveillance. The outcome will be used as we prepare the 2015 budget.”

Waqabaca adds the task force can’t approach any business to ask about the retail price of smartphones unless it has established that the zero ratings is in fact being denied to Fijians.

“We want to do it right. When we approach the retailers we would like to have done our background work rather than just making accusations that they’re charging above what the price should be.”

The tax exemption on smartphones was introduced so that more Fijians could have access to the internet and e-government services.

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