While I agree with our MPs who have come out to effectively point out areas where Uganda’s national budget can be streamlined – cut costs of the blotted executive, guzzler vehicles and all, I think they should first remove the log in their eye.
“The first order of business for our new parliament was to throw out the media, other observers, and behind closed doors allegedly increase their emoluments to more than Ush 15,000,000 per month. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has purchased two brand new Mercedes Benz vehicles at Ush 838 million as ceremonial cars for the speakers of parliament, in addition to the latest top of the range V8 Toyota Land Cruisers that the speakers use for travel to their constituencies. Comparatively, 31.1% of Uganda’s population (8.4 million persons) are poor and survive on less than Ush 72,000 per month. Millions of Ugandans take only one meal a day and millions more are unable to take the minimum dietary requirement of 3000 calories per day.”
Agriculture is Uganda’s global comparative advantage, it is a primary economic growth driver and it is key in ensuring food and nutrition security for Ugandans. The budget 2014/2015 plans to increase food production costs through increased taxation – agricultural inputs will be heavily taxed.
The taxes on hoes are reinstated. The costs of procuring agricultural loans is going to increase since the exemption of tax on interest income from agricultural loans has been removed. The costs for farmers’ transactions has increased since there is a planned 10 percent tax on mobile phone money withdrawals. The NRM administration has also planned to increase taxes on basic food items, salt, sugar, diary products.
Comparatively, administrations of other East African nations are subsidising or ensuring no or low taxation of agricultural inputs. Kenya has exempted taxes on importation of farm inputs for processing and preservation of seed. Tanzania has removed excise duty on money…
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