By Kiyimba Bruno
Someone from the banks must be financing this whole mess of over taxation on mobile money. As CSOs,we shall fight the battle till everything is in order. Those were some of the words spoken by Julius Mukunda,the Executive Director for Civil societies Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) in a press briefing that took place at their offices in Ntinda,to address about their stand on Mobile money taxation.
He said the government is planning to charge mobile money higher than banks what he believed to be wrong.
“Banks should be charged equally to mobile money. Same rates on every money deposited” Said Mukunda.
He added that the biggest number of people who use mobile money are the youths and women which very sector the government is trying to help in order to run out poverty.
Mukunda noted that the tax bill will bring about an increase in fees that could make adoption of mobile money especially in lower segments much more difficult.
He gave an example of MTN which is the highest proportion of mobile money transaction with 61% of it’s users who transact less than Shs45,000.
He added that this whole mess will not spare even government impacts since delivery of bulk payments to the lower income segments is a timely and cost efficient manner through which mobile money could be affected.
Henry Kimera,the team leader for consumer education trust said that this is an act done by the government to punish the poor.
“Government taxes in order to collect money,encourage people to consume a product or to punish them indirectly for taking a certain product for instance smoking. And here government is punishing the poor man like a smoker” Said Kimera.
As CSOs,they recommended that there should be an increased exercise duty from.10% to 1.7% on withdraw fees as well as taxation on interest income on mobile money account balances .
On Thursday, CSOs have planned to launch a pledge book to the members of Parliament seeking for signatures as a way of fighting the mobile money bill.