The Chairperson Budget Committee in the Parliament of Uganda, Amos Lugolobi, has asked the government to invest more resources in the development sectors if the country is to realize value for money invested in infrastructure.
Speaking at the official opening for the 2018 Tax Payer Appreciation Week at the Kololo Independence Grounds, Lugolobi said the government needs to invest more resources towards the development of the private sector, and agriculture because these have a multiplier effect towards the economy’s development.
“Government has invested huge volumes of monetary resources towards the development of infrastructures such as roads, power generation but who is going to utilize the excess power and the roads? The government needs to support the private sector to come up with industries that will utilize the power.
Those industries will need inputs; that is why agriculture sector is key in our economy because it can supply inputs for most factories in the country,” he explained.
Lugolobi added that Uganda’s tax base will not expand if the private sector is not developed. He noted that the only way is through government supporting the sector to access quality cheap loans from both local and International financial institutions, among other things.
Speaking at the same event, the state Minister for Finance David Bahati said the government is on track towards achieving its development goals.
He stated that the government has massively invested in the infrastructure which is key to improving the business environment in Uganda.
“We are on the right track towards achieving our development goals although the country is still challenged with some obstacles which will be worked on in the coming financial years. When you look at the infrastructure sector, the government has worked on most major roads in the country.
“On the side power, Uganda is not doing badly and more megawatts will be added onto the national grid when Karuma and Isimba Power dams are switched on,” he said.
On Tax collection in the country, Bahati applauded the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for doing a great job in revenue mobilization, noting that the tax ratio to the country’s GDP has improved since 1986.
“In 1986, the government was collecting only UGX 5 billion but the good news for the public is that currently. the tax agency is collecting about UGx14 Trillion.
“This is great work and we hope that as more Ugandan embrace paying tax, more revenue will be collected,” the minister said.
Officiating as the Chief Guest at the event, the first Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali asked all government agencies to ensure that there is value for government money allocated to their sector.
The more people see value for their tax the more Ugandan will embrace paying tax so all government agencies should ensure that there’s value for government both at the central Government and Local government.
The Acting Commissioner General of URA Patrick Mukiibi noted that although tax collection in the country has gone up, a lot needs to be done to ensure that more Ugandans are brought on board to pay tax.
He revealed that URA is developing strategies that will enable the agency to register more taxpayers.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO