Parliament will convene tomorrow to review the controversial taxes on mobile money and social media.
This was revealed by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga while receiving petitions from Makerere Students leadership and Mobile Money Dealers on Monday.
A petition by Makerere University students was presented to the Speaker by the Minister of Culture and Mobilization, Samuel Obedgiv and the petition by mobile money dealers by Yobabu Ndyamuhaki.
Obedgiv told the Speaker that the direct tax on Social media should instead be shifted to other commodities which effect might be less felt.
He said that the tax on social media affects the students since they now nolonger use this platform to easily acquire academic knowledge and opportunities as it has been.
“At Makerere University for example, we had adopted the use of WhatsApp platforms as opposed to the old way of using notice boards for any communication like convening academic gatherings and sharing research. The tax makes it hard now since some students can’t afford logging on to social media,” Obedgiv said.
He added, “we request that a consideration be made and the tax be shifted to other commodities, we use these platforms to share handouts from lecturers.”
Marion Kirabo, a student leader said that tax imposed on social media will render youth unemployed since they have been using it to market their businesses.
“If I start marketing my small business online through social media platforms, it becomes cheaper for me since I only need a small startup capital,” Kirabo said, adding that “some people have now shifted their business to their homes since they only need to market their services and goods through social media”.
The Mobile Money dealers told the Speaker that due to the new levy on the services, many people have abandoned the services and this has affected several businesses.
When a transaction is done after the enforcement of the mobile money tax, some people make one transaction and have vowed not to send money using mobile money, Ndyamukahi said.
In response, the Speaker noted that the House will convene on Wednesday to deliberate on the taxes that have caused uproar in the country.
President Museveni recently observed that the 1% levy on mobile money tax was miscommunication, saying it should have been 0.5% on transactions not deposits.
Parliament is expected to rescind their earlier legislation of 1% and lower the tax to 0.5%.
However, some Ugandans have organised a peaceful protest against both social media and mobile money tax under the slogan ‘This Tax Must Go’.