Reprieve for artistes as Parliament exempts them from excise duty

Reprieve for artistes as Parliament exempts them from excise duty

The National Assembly has exempted artistes from the 25% excise duty proposed in the Finance Bill.

Finance Committee chair Gladys Wanga while moving the amendments in the National Assembly said artists have been getting very little from Skiza tunes while mobile operators take the lions share.

“Our artistes in this country sweat blood to be able to record and play their music and they are never rewarded… The reward is very small compared to the investment these young artistes make,” said Wanga, who is also the Homa Bay Woman Representative.

Wanga’s amendment proposing exemption on excisable services supplied in Kenya by a mobile telecommunication service provider on the sale of a ring back tune to a subscriber.

She further announced plans to bring an amendment to the Copyright Act which will see artistes take home the lion’s share when it comes to revenues from ringback tunes.

Wanga pointed out that from the current sharing formula, it is the services providers retain a huge chunk of the revenues.

“… in the sharing formula the artiste gets 16 cents out of one shilling the taxation is 25 cents Safaricom gets 51 cents… I undertake to bring an amendment to the Copyright Act so that that sharing arrangement is done in such a way that that the artistes get the bulk,” she added.

The sharing of revenues from ring back tunes has been thorny issue pitting the artistes against the service providers and the industry regulators.

Various artistes have previously come out to lament and expose the meagre amounts they receive in their accounts despite their being among the most popular and widely played.