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Tanzania: Government Considering a U-Turn On Mobile Money Transaction Charges

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The government may make a u-turn on its newly-introduced mobile money levy after the public unanimously rebuffed the move on the ground that it was defeating Tanzania’s financial inclusivity goal.

Finance and Planning minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba said on Monday that President Samia Suluhu Hassan has heard people’s complaints against the new mobile money levy and that she (the President) had instructed the Ministry to work on the matter.

In an effort to raise its revenue collections by Sh1.254 trillion to partly finance the Sh36.68 trillion budget for the 2021/22 financial year, the government last month amended the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (CAP 306) by imposing a levy on all mobile money transactions, depending on the amount sent and withdrawn.

A calculation of the charges indicate that sending Sh1 million to someone and having the money withdrawn will cost a total of Sh31,000 if all the current and new charges are added up.

The levy, which became effective on July 15, has since been roundly criticised as people believe the amount being deducted was just too high for Tanzanians to carry.

Some have gone to the point of promoting other transaction mechanisms, including through banks and hard cash to dodge the colossal deductions.

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