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Cama objects 1% mobile money tax

The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has objected the proposed 1 percent withholding tax on non-bank mobile money.

Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha announced the new tax measure when presenting the 2019/20 national budget in Parliament recently.

But addressing journalists Monday, Cama Executive Director, John Kapito said the measure threatens financial inclusion initiative and segregates the poor, among other reasons.

Kapito said the tax will discourage the saving culture by low income consumers who don’t have bank accounts.

“That money will be held by the government to be used for development, but you are going to develop a structure that has already been destroyed. A tax should not destroy; a tax should be able to build. This particular tax is a destroyer of the poor of the poorest,” Kapito said.

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) June 2019 figures show that seven million people are subscribed to non-bank mobile money services with 45 929 mobile money agents in service.

Kapito added that the association is willing to fight for these people as the tax will affect them is parliament passes the budget as it is.

“I think our fight will be re-energized to the point where we will be on the street every day. Our role is to make sure that tax does not come in at all and that the people we are seeing out there do not lose their jobs,” he added.

When contacted Monday, Mwananvekha, said Parliament would discuss the matter as part of the provisions in the budget.

Minister of Finance, Joseph Mwanamvekha, presented the 2019/20 budget statement early this month.

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