By Vanguard Reporter
KAMPALA – National Unity Platform (NUP), the main opposition political party has attacked government for imposing a 12 percent tax on internet data that came into operation July 1st, 2021. Government replaces OTT tax with the new levy on data arguing many internet users including its officials were evading the tax by preferring VPN, a free global connection facility.
However Joel Ssenyonyi, the spokesperson, NUP says the new levy discourages business and teaching online.
“Two years ago we protested against OTT, government insisted but finally it has woken up. There is now a tax of 12 percent tax on internet data. We have told government this is wrong but they are obstinate (stubborn) yet they want teaching and business among others online. Let us practice politic of common sense,” he twitted on his account.
President Yoweri Museveni in the past has cherished OTT tax as deterrent against his opponent who took advantage of social media to criticize him and his government.
According to Uganda Revenue Authority, spokesperson, Ivan Rumanyika, the tax body collected Shs50 billion from OTT in the last financial year. URA has a target to collect Shs22 trillion out of the Shs44 trillion Uganda budget this financial year.
The new tax comes at a time when Uganda is in a lockdown to contain the second wave of COVID-19 that has spread like bush fire.
With the new tax, the Uganda public will dig deeper into their pockets to buy data that has been used to share information especially on wattsapp on how to manage the disease.