An analysis by global audit firm KPMG has raised significant concerns over the proposed increments in excise duty on vital services outlined in the Finance Bill 2024.

Highlighting potential repercussions for both consumers and government revenue, the firm's assessment underscores looming challenges to fiscal targets and public service funding.

In a detailed evaluation, KPMG emphasized the potential adverse impact of heightened excise duties on essential services like telephone and internet data, as well as fees associated with money transfer services.

According to the firm, such increases could precipitate a reduction in transaction volumes within these sectors, ultimately leading to a decline in excise duty collections.

"The increase in excise Duty on telephone and internet data services, fees charged for money transfer services by banks, money transfer agencies and other financial services and fees charged for transfer services by cellular phone may lead to a decrease in the number of transactions thus may see a decrease in the Excise Duty collection," warned the analysis by KPMG.

Of paramount concern is the potential shortfall in revenue, which could jeopardize the government's ability to sustain crucial public services and infrastructure projects.

KPMG's analysis posits that the proposed tax adjustments might impede progress towards fiscal targets, warranting a reassessment of the taxation strategy to mitigate adverse effects.

Furthermore, the firm expressed reservations regarding the rationale behind the proposed taxation of betting services.

While ostensibly aimed at curbing harmful consumption habits, KPMG cautioned that increased taxes could inadvertently drive such activities underground, fostering illicit gambling and evading regulatory oversight.

In addition to the potential proliferation of illicit practices, KPMG highlighted the economic repercussions for legitimate operators within the betting and gaming sector.

Increased financial burdens may precipitate job losses and economic instability, posing further challenges to an already vulnerable industry.

As deliberations on the Finance Bill 2024 continue, KPMG's analysis serves as a critical reminder of the nuanced implications of tax policy adjustments.

Balancing revenue objectives with the broader socioeconomic impact remains imperative to ensure sustainable fiscal management and equitable economic growth.