The minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, has expressed concern over the increase in external borrowing, which he said is taking a toll on service delivery.
The minister made the remarks while officiating at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), tax payers’ appreciation awards gala where the 40 most compliant taxpayers were recognised.
Kasaija urged URA to widen the tax base and increase the tax to GDP ratio, adding that the tax body’s urgent task at hand is increasing the GDP ratio from the current 13% to at least 20%.
“I am not proud to be a borrower and these days in Parliament they call me Minister of borrowing because every two weeks I am forced to go to cabinet to seek permission to borrow,” he said.
He explained that the revenue coming from the taxes is not sufficient to finance all the programs that need to be financed during the course of the year hence borrowing
“To pay your taxes is the noble responsibility as a good citizen. Your electricity both construction, transmission and distribution is all dependent on the money you give me. If you don’t give it to me, I borrow and that is what is precisely happening today because we are at 13% tax to GDP ratio. If we went to 20% the situation would be slightly different,” he said.
The URA Commissioner General, John Musinguzi, noted that to achieve their vision and aspirations as URA, they are changing the way they have been working in the last 30 years.
“We are deliberately building synergies with all stakeholders to enable us make a real positive change. It’s a great honour for me as we crown the Taxpayers Appreciation Season with an awards ceremony to recognise and celebrate exceptional heroes, whose tax compliance and partnerships are a true testament of their devotion to the development of our country,” he said.