Cabinet approves maritime security, 0.5% mobile money tax

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Tumwebaze

Cabinet sat yesterday on Monday 16th July at State House Entebbe and agreed to improve maritime security, development of ports and facilities.

According to ICT minister and cabinet spokesperson, Hon Frank Tumwebaze, the ministers also approved the physical planning amendment bill of 2018.

Cabinet further approved the amendment of the Excise Duty Act of 2015 “reduction of the tax payable on mobile money tax from 1% to 0.5% on withdrawals only.”

“The withdrawal is for you who is craving for paper cash “it is to encourage cashless transactions…to the contrary it is to develop technology.”

He added: “Logically there’s no money on sending because not all the money you send is on pay out “if I am sending it to you I will factor in withdrawal charges”.

He went on: “When you look at banks they do not charge you for depositing, but withdrawals. If I use my phone to pay utility bills and school fees I am not charged money. So I am relieved of that burden.”

Tumwebaze says cabinet agreed that the OTT and Social Media Tax shall remain as is.

“When you are developing a policy (the details) can change “this tax is not a tax on internet. It is a tax for you to access a specific service.”

He added: “When I have not paid my OTT tax I cannot access my WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook but I can send my emails.”

He said government needs to generate revenue to facilitate expansion of internet services far and wide “we need satellite to connect to schools, hospitals”.

Planning state minister Hon David Bahati said on the issue of armoured vehicles (for parliamentarians), it is being handled by H.E. the President.

OTT/ Social media tax, Bahati said government wants to get more options so that people can pay quarterly, annually (to the daily, weekly and monthly subscriptions).

“We want to facilitate that access so that payment becomes more convenient.”

He said the O.5% on withdrawals only will actually raise the same amount as budgeted for.

“This amendment (0.5% on withdrawals only) will raise UGX 118 Billion this financial year. We now have ten million users of OTT/Social Media Tax and there is no tax on internet.”

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