I’m not proud to borrow – Minister Kasaija
Finance Minister Hon Matia Kasaija called on the public to voluntarily start paying their taxes, to avoid borrowing both internally and externally to finance the national budget.
Kasaija says there is no way for the government to run its business without money when the tax base is still so small.
The Auditor General’s report for December 2020 said the public debt stood at 65 billion shillings, while the tax-to-GDP ratio was still 13 percent.
In the Shs44Tn budget, the Uganda Revenue Authority is expected to collect Shs22Yn while the rest will come from internal and external borrowing.
âI am not proud to be a borrower and these days in Parliament and Cabinet I am called Minister of Loans. It’s not interesting because every week or two I have to go to Cabinet or Parliament to ask for permission to borrow, âKasaija said.
The minister noted that as long as few Ugandans join the tax bracket, the country’s debt burden will remain intact.
âThe lower this rate (Taxes on GDP), the less you will have a balanced budget because the revenue from taxes is not sufficient to help you finance the entire budget; therefore, I have to borrow to finance these projects, âhe said.
Kasaija was addressing a section of taxpayers who had converged at the URA on Friday this week.
âIf we can increase our rate to 20%, the situation will be slightly different. In business, if you borrow, you have serious problems because if you don’t pay, the business will be taken away from you. Do you want me to borrow and not pay and people to start taking our assets? ” He asked.
The minister also clarified recent rumors that Entebbe airport was going to be taken over by Chinese bank Exim.
âIt was a pure lie, someone is slandering us even this morning, I was reading the contract but there is no story like that. We pay all our obligations, so those who feared that the airport of Entebbe won’t be auctioned off by the Chinese Exim Bank, I rest your fear, âhe said.
Speaking at the event, URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi said they plan to expand the tax registry to 5 million taxpayers from the current 1.8 million by fiscal year 2024 / 25.
âHere we have deployed simple registration as a key and we will ensure that this process is streamlined. Voluntary compliance aimed at reducing the burden on taxpayers, we are committed to being efficient, transparent and accountable in all operations, âhe said.
During this tenure, SEATINI Uganda was recognized and received the Commissioner General’s Award as a strategic and professional body for the 2020/21 fiscal year.
He has been recognized for his advocacy efforts on tax administration issues and for his significant contribution to the formulation of tax policy in Uganda.
Over 30 speakers, including; Individuals, ministries, departments, agencies and businesses have been recognized for their support and efforts towards taxation in Uganda over the past 30 years.