Mobile cash transactions surest source of revenues’

24Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Mobile cash transactions surest source of revenues’

NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai yesterday sought to defend the legislature for endorsing hefty levies on mobile money transactions saying there were no alternatives.

Speaking here at a meeting that brought together various political leaders and the regional authorities to discuss development strategies, Ndugai said mobile money transfer platforms are the only sure source of money to finance the ongoing and new development projects.

“Those of you who are opposed to the new levy should show us the alternative sources of getting money,” he said.

The Kongwa MP said that the House in its wisdom introduced the levy with good intentions of ensuring that by 2025, Tanzanians in all corners of the country get access to essential services such as water, electricity, roads, dispensaries and classrooms.

“That is why we MPs chose mobile money because we know there is enough money there that can enable us to easily carry out these projects,” he said.

 The government last month amended the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (CAP 306) by imposing a levy on mobile money transactions, depending on the amount sent and withdrawn, in an effort to raise revenue collections by 1.254trn/- to partly finance the 36.68trn/- budget for the 2021/2022 financial year.

The levy became legally-binding after the legislature approved the 2021 Finance Act and the Appropriations Act.

However, when its enforcement begun mid this month, there was an uproar all over the country as users complained not over the levy per se but the amount of money deducted.

A rough calculation of the charges indicate that sending 1m/- to someone and having the money withdrawn will cost a total of 31,000/- if all the current and new charges are added up.

After complaints and criticism from different quarters, Finance and Planning minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba said mid-week that President Samia Suluhu Hassan had heard people’s complaints against the new charges and that she had instructed the ministry to work on the matter.

Excited opposers are promoting other transaction mechanisms, favouring banks and personal conveyance to obviate the sharply accentuated deductions.

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