Members of Parliament on Tuesday opposed a proposal by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube to introduce a US$50 tax on cell phones.
Prof Ncube presented the 2022 national budget before Parliament last Thursday and proposed the introduction of the US$50 duty on cell phones.
MPs and analysts attending a post-Budget seminar said the move will discourage the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Senate Deputy President Lieutenant-General (Retired) Mike Nyambuya also proposed a review of the cell phone levy saying efforts should be made to promote e-learning. He said:
The levy of US$50 on cell phone handsets to be collected will discourage the use ICTs especially at a time when we want to speed up e-learning in remote areas.
I therefore, call upon the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to review the levy proposal on cell phones. Other countries are actually zero rating these gadgets to support usage in line with the digital revolution so that ‘no one is left behind.
Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira said the cell phone tax proposal had been rejected at the pre-budget seminar held in Victoria Falls last month. He said:
We rejected the proposal and I am surprised that he included it in the budget. What does it mean to the adoption of e-learning?
Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa (Independent) urged MPs not to pass the budget, saying it was unrealistic.
Economist Dr Gift Mugano said the new tax was harsh and against the spirit of a digital economy that the Government was promoting.
More: The Herald