Uganda: URA to Train MPs in Tax Collection
1 May 2014
The Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority Allen Kagina has offered to train MPs in tax collection methods, if Parliament gives her the nod of approval. Appearing before Parliament’s committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development on April 22, Kagina said some MPs lack expertise in some areas of taxation. She offered to organise a half-day training session.
“Please honourable members, allow me to give you a half-day training course on matters of domestic revenues, and I am ready to do this myself and my staff. We don’t measure tax revenues the same way other countries do, but there is room for growth,” a jolly Kagina explained.
Her suggestion followed submission by Ntenjeru North MP, Amos Lugoloobi [NRM], who asked her to explain why Uganda’s domestic revenue projection was nearly the lowest on the continent.
“I think there is a serious problem with our domestic revenue resource mobilization because we are being left behind by other countries. For example, the projection of our domestic growth is 13.4% when it is 20% in Rwanda, 20% in Nigeria and 20% in Ethiopia. Is it the funding problem or is it your weakness as URA?” asked Lugoloobi.
Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya [FDC] added: “What Honourable Amos has raised is a serious problem because other countries are growing economically, leaving us behind. So, the commissioner general should explain to us this low development in domestic revenue.”
Kagina was also asked how much telecom companies contribute to the country’s economy. Many MPs accused the telecommunication companies of conniving with some agencies to rip off people by providing unsolicited services such as text messages and dropped calls.
“How much do you get from telecom companies in form of revenues and why don’t you impose heavy taxes for the charges they always take from us through unsolicited messages and dropped calls?” Kabula MP James Kakooza [NRM] asked.
Kagina answered: “It is a serious problem because I have often got unsolicited messages and calls, and I always ask these telecom companies who gave them my number, but in vain. So I think it’s the regulator’s problem because it must be the one to intervene to solve this problem.”
Source: The Observer (Kampala)