Haiti - Education : It's not a tax but a surcharge on the tariff - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Education : It's not a tax but a surcharge on the tariff
20/05/2011 10:47:50

Haiti - Education : It's not a tax but a surcharge on the tariff
The President of the Republic, Joseph Michel Martelly, will travel this Friday, May 20, 2011 to the Coteaux in the Southern Department to attend the inauguration of the National School St. François. The construction project of this school was initiated by IOM and funded by USAID.

According to a survey conducted by the President's Martelly team, about 230 thousand children have no access to a classroom in the Great South. Only 8% of the Haitian state budget is allocated to education for the whole country.

The visit of the Head of State is part of the official launch of the National Fund for Education (FNE) that will allow to more than 500,000 Haitian children to have access to education. The National Fund for Education will be effective from June 15, 2011 and will be fueled by a contribution levied on each minute of incoming international calls. Indeed, a minimum tariff of 23 cents will be applied to each minute of incoming call and five cents will be deducted from the minimum rate and deposited in the FNE. It's not a tax but a surcharge on the tariff willingly agreed by the four local operators (Digicel, Voila, Haitel, Natcom).

The President of the Republic reiterates his firm determination to make education mandatory and free in his mandate and intends to mobilize all available resources to achieve his objectives.

It is true that the telephone operators are unanimous for the establishment of the FNE to support the project of the Government Martelly, these operators show, for cons, divided over the possible imposition of a price floor by the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL).

For Natcom, who is about to enter on the market, the idea of a price floor is penalizing "Our strategies to offer better prices during our introduction will be impossible if the CONATEL requires all operators to practice same price" denounces the Deputy Director Deneral of the NATCOM, Yves Armand "We are for the FNE, for the introduction of a fee of US$0.05 per minute on international incoming calls, but we are against price floors [...] we are for free competition, against price fixing. For 13 years, telecommunications companies exist, this was never done. Why introduce it now ?"

The President Martelly, with his thirst for quick change, seems to confuse "speed and precipitation..." Meetings with the CONATEL have took place even before being sworn in, about these new rates, while the new government was not in place, the law on the establishment of this taxe is not yet passed and the project has no legal framework currently... When the President declares "It's not a tax but a surcharge on the tariff", he should remember that a tax is a tax, regardless of how the thing is presented, to local and Diaspora consumers.

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