“I don’t think mobile money should be taxed” – Bawumia

Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said last August that mobile money (MoMo) should not be taxed.

In his opinion, the majority of MoMo users are poor, so should it be taxed, they will suffer more.

In an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on PeaceFM, the Vice President said, “I don’t think mobile money should be taxed as most of the people who use the service are poor people. So if you put more taxes on it, you will suffer. ”

Read the full story, originally published by Newsghana on August 31, 2020.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said he does not believe mobile money should be taxed beyond the corporate taxes that telecommunications companies are already paying on their mobile money revenues.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with Kwame Sefa Kayi on Peace FM.

“I don’t think mobile money should be taxed because most of the people who use the service are poor people. So if you put more taxes on it, you will suffer, ”he said.

This contradicts the position of communications minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful, who advocates a special tax on Telekom’s one percent service charge on mobile money.

In her view, the government’s real-time review of telecommunications companies’ earnings shows that telecommunications companies were making GHS 71 million per month from mobile money service fees alone, and they strongly believe that money should be taxed.

However, the minister admitted that she was at odds with her colleague finance minister as to whether the telecommunications revenues from the MoMo should be taxed.

Indeed, the vice president’s statement clearly shows that the communications minister’s insistence on levying additional taxes on MoMo’s telecom revenues is not popular in her own government.

The finance minister, who is in charge of collecting revenue, and the vice-president, who is the chairman of the government’s economic management team, totally contradict her.

Additionally, the Vice President fully agrees with the popular position that levying another tax on MoMo revenues from telecommunications companies will ultimately have an impact on the consumer as telecommunications companies are already paying corporate and other taxes on all of their revenues generated by monitored in real time by the government.

MoMo as a driver of the cashless society

Dr. Bawumia said it was quite important that mobile money be used as a vehicle to accelerate Ghana’s path to a cashless society.

For example, he found that Ghana’s $ 4.5 million mobile money interoperability platform, which is the first of its kind in Africa, has put over 15 million bank accounts in the pockets of people without a bank account.

“With the interoperability of mobile money, there is now seamless communication between wallets on different networks and between wallets and other platforms such as bank accounts and other financial technology (FinTech) platforms,” ​​he said.

In fact, the mobile money interoperability platform’s custodian, Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements System (GhIPSS) reported that transactions on this platform far exceeded transactions on their other platforms in the first half of the year, growing 400-600% above des same period last year.

Universal QR code

The Vice President said this has spurred the government on to adopt the universal QR (Quick Response) code that some banks and retailers are already using as the government prepares to roll it out to enable seamless transactions without human intervention to ensure.

“With interoperability and the QR code, we now have the infrastructure to work completely cashless in the shortest possible time. Soon Trotro passengers will be able to pay their fare electronically and even shoe shineers and Waatse salespeople will be able to receive payments on their phones, ”he said.

In a cheerful comment, Dr. Bawumia: “I was told that even Aunt Muni Waatse has already been signed with the universal QR code,” adding that retail stores will have their own QR codes very soon and the expensive point of sale (POS) machines.

Since the introduction of electronic payment platforms in the various state companies and institutions, state revenues have increased significantly, said the Vice President, which is a clear indication that digitization is increasing revenues and even stimulating economic activity.

The Vice President is confident that Ghana’s digitization agenda will lead the transformative development the country is seeking.

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