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Samia intervenes in levy saga

Samia intervenes in levy saga

AS debate on the newly introduced mobile transaction levies heats up, President Samia Suluhu has directed responsible ministries to work on people’s concerns and views.

In a quick rejoinder, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa is today expected to chair a meeting with responsible ministers to discuss the matter.

This meeting will be followed by another meeting of all ministers to review the mobile levies, which have drawn mixed reaction from the public. Speaking to the media yesterday, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba called for calm as the government works on the issue.

“The President has also been touched with concerns and views from Tanzanians and gave directive to us that we should work on concerns and views,” Dr Nchemba said. Dr Mwigulu stressed that the government had heard people’s concerns and views and his ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will jointly work on the concerns.

He pledged a review of regulations governing levy on mobile money transfers. During the previous budget meeting, the Parliament endorsed amendments to the Electronic and Postal Communication Act, CAP 306, 2008 for imposition of a levy of between 10/- to 10,000/- in each mobile money transaction, whereby the government targets to collect 1.2tri/.

Also the amendments have imposed a levy of between 10/- to 200/- per day per SIM card depending on the ability of the user to recharge the balance whereby the government intends to collect 396.3bn/-. These deductions have since attracted concerns from the public, with some users claiming that the deductions were too high. “We have received advice from citizens over how the matter touches them and we have also received advice on areas that needed more awareness and improvements, including deductions and the context of thematter,” he said.

The minister explained that since the laws have already been passed in the Parliament, they (ministers) have a room to revisit regulations for implementing those laws. Dr Nchemba pleaded with citizens to remain calm as the government continues explaining and clarifying on every area that needed more clarification. “We will take action on areas that need us to do so in order to continue building our nation,” he assured.

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