The highlight of the latest Uganda Economic Update is to be launched in Kampala on May 11, 2018.
The reports says the government collects lesser taxes than it should be collecting and urges tax administrators to innovate and collect more to enable the country limit on its borrowing.
The Update accordingly discusses how Uganda can avoid the debt trap and raise more domestic revenue to finance long-term development and service delivery to Ugandans.
“This edition of the Economic Update has a special focus on mobilizing domestic revenue to finance the country’ development. Uganda currently collects only 14 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in tax, which is less than 40 per cent of its tax potential,” says the World Bank.
The report will officially be launched at UMA Conference Hall in Lugogo, Kampala.
Five panelists representing government, private sector and civil society have been lined up to discuss the report that urges the government to collect more taxes for national development.
They panelists are; Keith Muhakanizi: Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Ishak Lukenge: Chairman -Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Daniel BirungI: Executive Director- African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), Doris Akol: Commissioner General-Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Julius Mukunda: Executive Director- .Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG).
Government in the financial year 2018/19 intends to task URA collect about Shs16 trillion compared to just over Shs15 trillion URA is to collect in the current financial year 2017/18.
President Yoweri Museveni recently blamed the Finance Ministry and URA for doing less to collect more taxes. The president would want the tax base expanded and recently suggested social media tax, causing uproar in the public domain.
A narrow tax base has forced government into borrowing to fund development projects. And the World Bank in August 2017 said the country’ debt burden had hit hits US $11.2 billion. Tax economists have warned that Uganda’s debt is nearing unsustainable levels.