Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath (pictured) hit out at proposals to increase tax on mobile money transactions in Kenya, stating it would slow down a drive to reduce cash usage, Reuters reported.
Earlier in June, Kenya finance minister Henry Rotich unveiled proposals to increase the tax on mobile cash transfers to 12 per cent from the 10 per cent currently levied, a move Kamath said would most harshly impact the poorer members of society.
The tax measures have not yet been approved by parliament: in an interview with Reuters, the Safaricom executive said the imposition of the increased tax would hamper existing government policy on reducing cash usage.
Kenya is one of the world leaders in mobile money and is frequently cited in reports from international development agencies as a model for other nations looking to boost financial inclusion. However, by increasing taxation, Kamath argues the government risks reversing much of the progress made.
Safaricom is the leading mobile operator by connections and dominant mobile money platform in Kenya.
In recent months, however, reports have emerged suggesting the country’s communications regulator is set to introduce measures to try and curb Safaricom’s market dominance as a number of political figures call for the business to be split.