The Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives Uganda, Amelia Kyambadde, has commended Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for the good job towards improving the face of tax administration in Uganda.

The minister said Wednesday while officially opening Tax Payers’ Appreciation Month (August 27-September 27, 2019) at Kololo Independence under the theme ‘Every Taxpayer Counts’ recognizing every taxpayer irrespective of status, who have made a contribution to the development of Uganda.

 “I appreciate URA for this gesture of rewarding and appreciating taxpayers. It drives a sense of gratitude in the public. I congratulate all the top 1000 complaint small and medium enterprises (SME) taxpayers that are being recognized this month by the tax body. It brings great joy to see the growth and contribution that SMEs are making to Uganda’s economy,” she said.

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Kyambadde said SMEs have a number of challenges and a number of them don’t live to see their third anniversary and promised to help them in a number of ways including access to affordable finance.

SMEs are essential drivers of economic and social wellbeing in our society. They represent 90 per cent of Uganda’s private sector, account for at least 45 per cent of Uganda’s labour force and contribute 20 per cent of Uganda’s gross domestic product.

In her remarks, the Commissioner General of URA, Doris Akol, said Every September, they celebrate and recognize taxpayers who consistently make an effort to grow their businesses year on year to honor their civic obligation to the revenue basket in a way that is commensurate to this growth.

“Our focus this year is the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), for the exceptional yet underappreciated role they play in advancing Uganda’s economic growth.” She noted

SMEs face barriers in accessing strategic resources such as skills, information and access to finance. The bottlenecks have an effect on the ability of the SMEs to blossom and make an even more significant contribution to the revenue basket.

“It is against this background that as URA we are doing our part in improving the business environment for SMEs because we recognize their potential that it is critical to the domestic resource mobilization agenda of Uganda.”

She said SMEs are even more important for their contribution to employment, economic growth, innovations and the diversity of competition they bring to the markets. SMEs guarantee inclusiveness and sustainable economic growth.

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