Government has accepted to suspend the ban on sale of airtime scratch cards as had been ordered recently.
Last month, government phased out scratch cards replacing them with electronic airtime attracting an outcry by members of the public especially in rural areas.
On Thursday, Members of Parliament put to task the Minister for ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze to explain why government didn’t consult the public before phasing out the scratch cards.
The legislators accused government of only looking at the side of telecom companies and making money but leaving out consumers who are the end users.
However, in response, Tumwebaze accepted that the phasing out of scratch cards should be gradual to reduce the inconveniences to people.
“We agree that there is a problem of accessibility of electronic airtime and there isn’t a need of forcefully banning scratch cards, but we will allow it to be phased out by the market forces of demand and supply.” Tumwebaze said.
On July 31, all telecom companies phased out airtime scratch cards in favour of electronic airtime.
Tumwebaze recently defended the move to ban scratch cards saying that the decision had been made by cabinet in March as one of the ways to improve security and also reduce fake scratch cards.
He explained that with the electronic airtime in place, it would make it easy to trace criminals in case of any crimes committed which according to Tumwebaze was not the case with scratch cards.
The minister added that it will improve revenue assuarance by the government since URA can determine the amount of airtime sold by telecom operators.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website