Civil Society proposes avenues to generate resources locally
Civil society groups want the government to increase passport fees, introduce infrastructure levy and increase taxes on fuel, saying such measures will help the country meet its revenue targets and release it from donor dependence syndrome.
The proposals, titled: “CSOs position paper on tax revenue measures for financial year 2015/16” presented to the legislators, among other stakeholders last week, outlined several tax measures that government can embrace in its attempt to finance its bloated budget.
In a matter of weeks, the 2015/16 resource envelope changed from Shs18 trillion to nearly Shs25 trillion budget.
According to the proposals fronted by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), SEATINI, Uganda, ActionAid Uganda (AAIU), Uganda Debt Network (UDN), Development Initiatives (DI) and Water Governance Institute (WGI), the government can beat its revenue collection targets if it encompasses the suggested proposals into its tax measures.
One such proposal is to increase the fee for Diplomatic/Official passport from the proposed Shs120,000 to Shs300,000.
“For an ordinary passport, the proposed charge is prohibitive. For the diplomatic passport, the proposed charge undermines the diplomatic stature,” reads the CSOs proposal.
Presenting the proposals, the Coordinator for CSBAG, Mr Julius Mukunda, also added that Special taxes for infrastructure projects should be taxed. He said: “Imposing a tax for construction of Karuma dam would greatly relieve government. It will reduce the pressure to borrow money and will increase citizen ownership of public projects.”
Other measures. Other alternatives the CSOs suggested include; curbing illicit financial flows and capital flight, widening environmental tax, re-introduction of road tolls on new infrastructure projects and taxing cash withdrawals to fight money laundering.