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Minister Kasaija tables mobile money amendment Bill

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has Thursday July 19 tabled the Excise Duty Amendment No.2 Bill, 2018 to pass up the negotiations on the controversial mobile money and social media tax (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija has on Thursday afternoon tabled the Excise Duty Amendment No.2 Bill, 2018, setting pace for renegotiations into the contentious tax proposals.

The amendment followed fierce resistance among members of the public, who resisted the 1% tax levy imposed on all Mobile Money transactions and a Shs200 daily levy on social media.

In the newly tabled Bill, Government highlighted that it was intended to amend the Excise Duty Act,2104 to limit the taxable mobile money transactions to withdrawal and reduce the duty payable.

Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah referred the Bill to the Finance Committee of Parliament for scrutiny and called on the members to look at all the petitions that have been brought to Parliament following the enactment of the tax proposals.

However, his decision was questioned by Roland Mugume, (Rukungiri Municipality) who pointed out that the Finance Committee has no members, as Parlaiment is yet to have the Committees constituted as per Rules of Procedure.

Sectoral Committees are departmentally related committees, whose composition is determined at the start of each new session. Sectoral Committees last one session (one year) and comprise of about 30 members designated by Whips and approved by the House.

The term of the leaders and members of the Sectoral committees came to end accordingly new members and leaders must be assigned by the government Chief whip and the Leader of Opposition which has not yet been done.

Oulanyah however reminded Mugume that the Committee are in place, save for the members who haven’t been designated, but called on the different Party Whips to expedite the process and have the Bill scrutunised quickly.

The Deputy Speaker told the new members that the matter of mobile money is urgent and when appointed to the Finance Committee, they have to carry out their duties quickly.

“I had guided on because the Committees are there, except as we speak now, we don’t have members in them and that is a process that is going to happen,” Oulanyah said.

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