Uganda s finance minister says mobile money tax may be reviewed, Africanews


Uganda’s finance minister told journalists on Monday that a fresh tax on mobile money transactions ter the country that wasgoed approved by parliament last week, is different from what cabinet agreed.

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Last week, legislators passed the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, which introduced a one vanaf cent tax and varying taxes on other electronic transactions such spil airtime and social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Matia Kasaija, who wasgoed not ter the country when parliament passed the Excise Duty Amendment Bill on Thursday, explained that cabinet and the ruling party decision making assets had agreed on a 0.5% levy, and not 1% which wasgoed passed by parliament.

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What wij agreed on wasgoed a half of one vanaf cent. I will ask the responsible officer how 1 vanaf cent tax on Mobile Money wasgoed approved.

“I apologise for that because it contradicts what wij agreed on ter Cabinet. What wij agreed on wasgoed a half of one vanaf cent. I will ask the responsible officer how 1 vanaf cent tax on Mobile Money wasgoed approved,” Kasaija said.

Critics of the tax have argued that it will hurt low income earners and Ugandans te rural areas that are not adequately served by mainstream banks. Uganda has overheen 23 million mobile phone subscribers who transact using the mobile money system to effect money transfers, utility bill payments and lately even borrow money.

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Uganda’s social media tax amounts to repression of free speech: Activist

Tax discrepancies to be discussed

Kasaija said that the tax wasgoed originally intended to be levied on mobile money agents and not on mobile money transactions by customers spil passed by parliament.

Kasaija pledged to discuss the tax discrepancies with the voorzitter ahead of the budget reading next week.

“I am sorry I wasgoed out of the country. I will have a discussion with the Voorzitter and may be by the time I read the budget next week, a solution will have bot found,” Kasaija said.

Uganda’s budget to concentrate on tourism, ICT

The finance minister added that the Shs32.7 trillion ($8.6 billion) budget that will be introduced next week will concentrate on key growth sectors of agriculture, tourism, ICT and infrastructure development.

The government is looking to modernise thesis sectors to lower the cost of doing business and spur industrialisation.

The fresh taxes are part of measures to raise the country’s tax ratio to GDP by 0.Five vanaf cent annually but critics including civil society organisations have condemned the specific taxes on mobile money and social media.

“The nation is still te shock about the 1 vanaf cent tax on Mobile Money transactions that yield Shs115 billion yet wij proposed alternatives that would yield Shs252 billion but with no tax adverse effect on the economy and the people,” said Julius Mukunda of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group.


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