The Tanzanian government has reduced by 30 percent the mobile money transaction levy it approved following public outcry that the levy was a financial burden.
The government had in June amended the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (CAP 306) by imposing a levy of between Tsh10 ($0.0043) and Tsh10,000 ($4) on mobile money transactions, depending on the amount sent and withdrawn and the levy came into effective starting July 15.
The levy was endorsed in a bid to raise revenue by Tsh1.254 trillion ($500 million) to partly finance the Tsh36.68 trillion 2021/2022 budget ($15 billion).The money was to be used to construct health centres and classroom, and to fund other social projects.
The move led residents to criticize the government saying that the mobile money transaction cost had become too high, and was unfavorable for business as people were avoiding the costly mobile phone transactions and online purchases.
The outcry led President Samia Suluhu to direct the Finance minister and his Communications and Information Technology counterpart Faustine Ndugulile to review mobile money transaction charges.
The two ministers formed a taskforce that held talks with mobile service providers and agreed unanimously to reduce the rates charged on mobile money transactions.
According to the Finance minister, Mwigulu Nchemba , since the levy came into effect in mid-July, about Tsh63 billion ($28 million) has been collected.