The Minister of State for Planning, David Bahati has revealed that Government will tomorrow, Friday, gazette the Excise Duty Amendment that provides for the a 0.5 percent tax on Mobile Money withdraws.
The Minister’s revelation to Parliament came in response to the call on Wednesday by legislators over the delays in the implementation of the amendments recently passed by Parliament. The amendments were last week assented to by President Yoweri Museveni.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga yesterday summoned the Minister of Finance to explain to Parliament why government is taking long to gazette the law that the President has already signed.
On Thursday, Bahati confirmed that the President had assented to the Excise Duty Bill, 2018 and that the law will be gazetted on Friday. Since the passing of the law that revised the levy from 1% to 0.5%, mobile money agents have still been charged 1% which has prompted many to question why government has dragged its feet in regards to gazetting the amended law.
“As we speak, most of the people who are in the mobile money business have closed their businesses and we are wondering if it is government’s intention to fail its own people or it is by accident. Why is government taking time to gazette that law?” the Nakaseke South MP, Paulsen Lutamaguzi said.
But Minister Bahati told the House on Thursday that upon gazetting the law tomorrow, implementation of the 0.5% tax levy will start immediately.
Last year, Government introduced a 1% tax on all mobile money withdraws in anticipation to collect Shs 115Bn but in the new proposal, the tax was reduced to 0.5%. The second amendment saw the Bill go through a vote that saw 164 MPs voted to have mobile money tax upheld, while 124 voted against the controversial tax out of the 288 MPs that took part of the vote.