All cellphones now tax free- President Ali announces

Berbice residents at the rally (Photo: PPP/C/ Facebook/ June 9, 2023)

Doing so, he explained, requires advancements in technology and telecommunications. Resultantly, he said the government has prioritised efforts there.

One of the first things the Irfaan Ali-led administration did after assuming office in 2020 was to liberalise the telecommunications sector, effectively breaking the decades-long monopoly of one service provider.

This was a manifesto promise of the PPP/C. And that move paved the way for new, local companies to enter the sector and compete among each other to deliver cheaper, more improved services locally.

Additionally, in 2021, Value Added Tax (VAT) residential and individual data was removed. That led to a reduction in the overall cost of these services.

Berbice residents at the rally (Photo: PPP/C/ Facebook/ June 9, 2023)

The government has also courted more Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) companies and facilitated the entry and/or expansion of those companies in Guyana, allowing hundreds of Guyanese to get jobs at call centres across the country. New call centres are under construction in Regions Two, Six and 10 and the government hopes more people will be employed.

The government is also hoping to train more youth in technology-focused sectors such as programming. It has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to train 150,0000 youth in software development.

Removing these taxes now, Dr. Ali said, it is just another way of pushing technological development in the country.

He said that people are doing their degrees on cell phones, while others are conducting business and so, the government wanted to show its support.