Malawi scrapped plans to implement a 1 per cent withholding tax on mobile money transactions, after drawing criticism from the country’s largest operator and politicians.

In a letter to finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, Telekom Networks Malawi CEO Michiel Buitelaar warned the tax would hamper the country’s economic development and run contrary to a government aim of boosting financial inclusion, Nyasa Times reported.

Mwanamvekha introduced the tax as part of the country’s 2019 to 2020 budget. With the move scrapped, the minister instead plans to introduce a 20 per cent withholding tax on trust funds set up by mobile companies to fund social programmes, reported Bloomberg.

The Consumers Association of Malawi slammed the proposed tax last month stating it would be most devastating to the poorest members of Malawian society.