By Ritah Kemigisa
KAMPALA: The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga is today expected to rule on whether Parliament can put on hold an Act after consulting the House’s legal team.
This is after the government rejected demands by Members of Parliament (MPs) to suspend the implementation of the Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2018, that introduced controversial taxes on social media platforms and mobile money transactions.
MPs had demanded that the government suspends the Shs 200 daily levy on social media platforms and a 1% charge on mobile money transactions but as a fall-back option, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told Parliament that the government would table an amendment to the Act on Thursday next week.
Amending an Act of Parliament can be a lengthy process which can take as long as three months and MPs argue that Ugandans will continue to bear the burden of double taxation on mobile money transactions as the process to amend the Excise Duty Act drags on.
Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante proposed that the government suspends the Act as a review to amend the taxes is conducted.
But Premier Rugunda insisted that the social media and mobile money users have to pay the charges for as long as the Act remains in place.
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija is today expected to present a formal apology to parliament for putting parliament in bad light.
He was yesterday directed by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to apologise after the matter was raised by Kabula County MP James Kakooza.
Rt Hon Kadaga also wants the minister to make a public withdrawal of his statement in which he said that the 1 per cent tax on mobile money was passed in error.