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STANDOFF: Museveni, NRM MPs Back 0.5% Mobile Money Tax

The ruling National Resistance Movement Caucus meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday resolved to revise the mobile money tax from 1 percent to 0.5 percent.

Yesterday’s meeting, that took place at State House Entebbe ahead of the crucial vote on the excise duty expected today, was meant to harmonize the position of the majority NRM MPs.

On Thursday last week, when the mobile money amendment Bill was brought on the floor for the second reading, majority of legislators supported the minority report from the Finance Committee which resolved for the total removing of the tax.

The committee’s majority report, largely backed by Finance Ministry, resolved for the revision of the tax to 0.5 percent, a position adopted by the NRM Caucus last evening at State House Entebbe.

According to sources who attended the closed door Caucus meeting, which held after the weekly Cabinet meeting, President Museveni convinced members that 0.5 percent is a small fraction on a service effectively enabling transfer of money.

Museveni reportedly gave MPs the comparison of physically transporting money to Lira and incurring small percentage on electronic transfer.

He reportedly told the MPs that one needs approximately Shs 60,000 to transport or send someone with money from Kampala to Lira. This person, he said, needs to pay bus fare and also eat or drink something on the way.

The President reasoned that sending the same money using mobile money does not cost much compared to the physical transportation.

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“Incurring a 0.5% tax on mobile money at withdrawal point does not cost much compared to physically transporting it,” remarked Museveni.

The plenary sitting today afternoon is going to determine the fate of mobile money tax.

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