By Wanambwa M. Rogers
Wrote this at the time of the introduction of OTT and mobile money tax…
It is rather peculiar and ridiculous that the government of Uganda is exempting companies and industries that which exemptions are upto the tune of Ugshs4trillion and yet it sees it fit to tax mobile money transactions(which was fast becoming the backbone of both informal and formal sectors in helping out on transactions) which has been helping on formalising the informal sector’s transactions and helping out on transforming the banking ways of Ugandans who are majorly informally employed, not to say the laughable taxation on social media!
Ofcourse, we cannot ignore how mobile money is helping Ugandans big time on the issue of saving; which has always been an illusion to most of us because of the intricacy and bureaucracy that has always surrounded the banking sector. Again, with the help of increasing technology, Agency banking has come up. For those that don’t know this, it’s where a person in say Owino market can deal as an agent for Equity or Centenary bank dealing in all services the bank does and delivering to people just as a mobile money agent does his business for the telecommunication company. Normally, both are connected and already the banks are interlinked with the mobile money transactions, where by one can use their telecommunication line to deposit money to their bank account or withdraw the same from the comfort of their home or office.
All this and more is going to be affected by the new proposed taxes which inadvertently is going to chase people away from this form of banking and transactional processes hence bringing back the old big gap of the informal sector that has been shrinking with these innovations something that’s not good for the country’s economy in the long run.
Speaking of the taxes on social media, it’s amazing how the economic policy makers of this country can sit and bring up these when other countries are striving on providing free Internet for their citizens. The benefits of the Internet are so numerous and publicly known, I don’t need to repeat them in this already long post.
The purpose of this amateurishly written post is to inform our policy enactors and makers to rethink about taxing the “big guns” who clearly will bring in four times(Ugshs4trillion) what they are planning to get from this gullibly plotted tax policy and still retain the popularity of the government because a good tax always leaves the government in favour of the people.