Mobile Firms Told to Pay Up—Or Else

Cambodia’s mobile phone companies have been ordered to report their revenue and pay their taxes to the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry before the end of the month or face public shaming.

Im Vutha, spokesman for the Telecommunications Regulator of Cambodia, said the announcement was made to compel mobile phone companies to pay taxes introduced in the new telecommunications law passed in 2015. The government is currently asking mobile companies to fully pay their taxes from last year, he said.

“This year we want to make it more official to comply with the new telecom law introduced and everyone to follow the new law,” Mr. Vutha said.

According to the official statement, released on the regulator’s Facebook page on Thursday, the ministry will use television and radio to name and shame mobile operators that have not complied by February 28.

If a mobile operator continues to evade payment, the ministry said it would take legal action, which could include freezing company bank accounts, suspending or revoking business licenses, or filing lawsuits.

Smart Axiata, for one, has paid all it owes to the Cambodian government, said Jonathan Yap, the company’s head of corporate and regulatory affairs, in a statement. The company paid $56 million in taxes in 2015, it said.

Mr. Vutha said he could not disclose the amount telecommunications companies owe, as he does not oversee tax collection.

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