MPs block sneaking of dubious Shs1 trillion to 2018-2019 budget

MPs block sneaking of dubious Shs1 trillion to 2018-2019 budget
Eazzy Banking

Parliament has blocked a move by the government to add a sum of Shs1 trillion to the budget estimates for the financial year 2018-2019.

The government, through State Minister for Planning David Bahati (pictured), had proposed an allocation of Shs500 billion for the capitalization of Bank of Uganda and another Shs 500 billion as classified expenditure for the Ministry of Defence.

But Budget Committee Chairperson Amos Lugoloobi protested the move saying that his committee was in the final stages of the budget process ahead of the May 31 deadline stipulated in Public Finance Management Act.

Lugoloobi added that Parliament has been buried in the process since January 2018 and that some of the reports that have undergone thorough scrutiny have already been adopted.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga also described the move as an abuse of Parliament, wondering why the Minister never raised the matter earlier.

Ugandans to pay more taxes

But Government has set a higher revenue collection target in the 2018/2019 financial year, estimated at about Shs 30 trillion.

According to the National Budget Framework Paper (NBFP) government estimates to collect Shs 15.547 trillion from domestic sources, Shs 15.1trillion from tax revenue while Shs 418 billion is expected from non-tax revenue. This means Ugandans will pay more taxes, Tax revenue during the 2018/2019 financial year is expected to come from improvement in compliance of taxpayers and strengthening of tax administration through expansion of the scope of withholding tax agents, strengthening the business intelligence function of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to detect noncompliance and implementing valuation controls among others.

Despite the increase in the URA tax revenue projection of Shs15.547 trillion for the financial year, the analysts say there are no new revenue sources highlighted apart from administrative areas that seek to further strain the existing narrow revenue sources.

URA commissioner general Doris Akol

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