Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited and Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have partnered to ease traders’ ability to source for goods from Asian markets as well as pay the stipulated taxes on the imported items.
The partnership is expected to improve compliance, but the bigger aim is to help transform Uganda’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Anne Juuko, Stanbic Bank Uganda Chief Executive said, “Our purpose as a bank is ‘Uganda is our home, we drive her growth’, SMEs are the heartbeat of the country employing over 2.5 million Ugandans, but they have been hit hard by the pandemic which is why it is important to have this partnership now.”
Juuko said the partnership will provide some relief to traders as a result of disruptions in the global supply routes and their ability to source for goods.
Under the partnership, Stanbic Bank has agreed to facilitate importation of goods from China and other Asian countries through its Subula Express proposition. On top of that, the bank will create special trade accounts at various branches to cater for the traders’ requirements and at lower transaction charges.
Juuko said the bank has also agreed to scale-up lending to bankable enterprises which previously was not possible since they did not meet certain internal lending thresholds.
Most importantly, the partnership will see Stanbic Bank provide tax loans to qualifying customers in line with its lending criteria. Under this arrangement, already existing bank customers recommended by KACITA will qualify for unsecured loans not exceeding Shs 200 million.
New to bank customers, will also qualify for loans not exceeding Shs 200million under a collateral management arrangement.
On its part, KACITA will ensure free flow of information between itself, the bank, and the Uganda Revenue Authority to give effect to the intended project. In order to ensure compliance, KACITA will also work with Stanbic Bank in the development of these initiatives to improve and expand support to the traders they transact with. KACITA will also allow Stanbic Bank to carry out monitoring and evaluation activities to assess the impact of these activities on the participating traders.
Meanwhile, in a bid to ease tax collection and compliance, KACITA will ensure that all recommended customers will have to be enrolled on the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) where applicable.
KACITA will also ensure that the customers recommended are of good standing in the trader community. The Association will verify their physical premises and confirm the specific business the traders are involved in.
This partnership has been strongly endorsed by the Government of Uganda through its agencies namely, URA and Uganda National Bureau of Standards.