By Ronaldo Kalangi
Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon.Rebecca Kadaga has summoned the minister for Finance Matia Kasaija to explain on the floor of Parliament why mobile money users are still paying 1%tax to Telecom companies.
This comes after member of parliament for Nakaseke Hon.Semakula Lutamaguzi raised the matter to Speaker that ever since parliament amended the mobile money tax from 1%to 0.5 and president Museveni asserted his signature to approve it,up to now nothing has changed and the telecoms have vehemently rejected to implement the new law.
Alot of lawmakers are bitter with the government that alot of their constituents have lost businesses due to high rates of mobile money transactions.
On passing a 1% tax on mobile money as part of the Excise Duty bill,it met alot of resistance from opposition MPs and civil society organisations on the grounds that 1% tax on mobile money will hurt the economy, its people and it is counterproductive.
Later protests led by mobile money operators erupted around the country until government had to revise it.
In his submission, Kasaija said that it was okay to tax mobile money as long as the tax rate is affordable by the tax payers.
On this note he said that Cabinet had also resolved that the tax be charged on the mobile money system providers because that is where revenue is, not on money transactions as passed by Parliament.
Government intends to raise sh150b from taxing the mobile money service; the biggest financial inclusion tool in Uganda, benefiting about 20 million Ugandans.
Parliament wants min. Kasaija to explain and compel all telecommunication companies with immediate effect cut transaction rates.