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Uganda MPs vote to maintain controversial social media tax

Uganda MPs vote to maintain controversial social media tax

Uganda

<p>Lawmakers in Uganda have voted to maintain a controversial tax law that sparked protests across the country months back.</p> <p>Local media portals reported that the ruling National Resistance Movement, <span class="caps">NRM</span>, dominated chamber voted 136 against 101 votes to maintain the tax on mobile money and social media service.</p> <p>The taxes, implemented by telecom companies since July 1, have been widely criticised and resisted by Uganda’s youthful population, human rights activists and economic analysts.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><span class="caps">BREAKING</span>: Parliament votes to maintain a tax on mobile money and social media services. <br /> <br /> 101 voted against it while 136 voted for it. <a href="https://t.co/Wbj65OJuuJ">pic.twitter.com/Wbj65OJuuJ</a></p>— Mujuni Raymond (@qataharraymond) <a href="https://twitter.com/qataharraymond/status/1047104890240155650?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>President Yoweri Museveni, at a point ordered a reduction of the initial amount imposed. He directed that refunds be made to customers whose deposits had been charged, and also confirmed that the levy should have been 0.5%.</p> <p>The finance ministry in mid-June subsequently revised the controversial mobile money taxes, adopting the reduction of the levy from 1% to 0.5%, adding that it will only be levied on withdrawals and not for persons ‘sending, receiving and depositing’ money as earlier passed by the country’s parliament.</p> <p>The parliament in May passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018 that introduced a levy of 200 shillings ($0.05) per day for access to a range of online services. Some platforms affected by the tax include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo Messenger.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/07/04/ugandans-challenge-social-media-tax-in-court-want-mps-to-rescind-the-law/"target="_blank"><span class="caps">ALSO</span> <span class="caps">READ</span>: Ugandans challenge social media tax in court, want MPs to rescind the law</a>
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