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Civil Society wants clear policy to guide tax exemptions

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  Only a few entities are willing to certify their products and Ugandan products fail to reach the international market KAMPALA Uganda January 12 2022 APO Group The Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group CSBAG has called for a clear policy to guide tax breaks and other incentives for investors CSBAG appeared on Wednesday January 12 2022 before the Committee on Commerce Tourism and Industry to present a position paper on the development and manufacturing programs of the private sector in response to the National Budget Framework Document for fiscal year 2022 2023 Patrick Rubangakene Budget Policy Specialist at CSBAG says that according to the 2019 2020 Office of the Auditor General Report there is no clear policy guideline for the issuance management and monitoring of the various tax benefits and incentives issued by the Government to the different beneficiaries While on the one hand the Government offered a 10 year vacation tax to some companies in the steel sector to promote the growth of the sector the same Government offered exemptions from import duties on steel products to other companies he said Rubangakene He said the absence of a clear mechanism and framework exposes the scheme to mismanagement and abuse without a mechanism to assess the impact of tax benefits and with some of the offers expiring without follow up Rubangakene also called on the government to subsidize laboratory testing fees to facilitate product certification for small and medium sized enterprises SMEs He says that currently micro and small businesses pay Shs500 000 for a permit to use Q Mark for 12 months while others go up to Shs1 million As a result he said only a few entities are willing to certify their products and Ugandan products fail to reach the international market He says this high price has also limited the goal of certifying 4 500 products Rubangakene also called for a proper recapitalization of Uganda Development Corporation UDC saying this will unlock investment in strategic economic sectors Mbarara City Representative Hon Rita Atukwasa acknowledged the challenge with industrial parks and questioned whether in their wisdom civil society believes that supporting Uganda Development Corporation UDC is the way forward The committee chair Hon Mwine Mpaka tasked the team with explaining whether the UDC capitalization exists Mpaka said that as a committee they expected a more detailed and well researched presentation This information that you are giving us we already have it We need figures what s happening in the economy and how to fix it We need information about the real situation on the ground said Mpaka Rubangakene promised to present a detailed report to the committee
Civil Society wants clear policy to guide tax exemptions

1 Only a few entities are willing to certify their products and Ugandan products fail to reach the international market

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2 KAMPALA, Uganda, January 12, 2022 / APO Group / –

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3 The Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) has called for a clear policy to guide tax breaks and other incentives for investors.

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4

5 CSBAG appeared on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, before the Committee on Commerce, Tourism and Industry to present a position paper on the development and manufacturing programs of the private sector in response to the National Budget Framework Document for fiscal year 2022/2023.

6 Patrick Rubangakene, Budget Policy Specialist at CSBAG, says that according to the 2019/2020 Office of the Auditor General Report, there is no clear policy guideline for the issuance, management and monitoring of the various tax benefits and incentives issued by the Government to the different beneficiaries.

7 “While, on the one hand, the Government offered a 10-year vacation tax to some companies in the steel sector to promote the growth of the sector, the same Government offered exemptions from import duties on steel products to other companies,” he said. Rubangakene.

8 He said the absence of a clear mechanism and framework exposes the scheme to mismanagement and abuse without a mechanism to assess the impact of tax benefits and with some of the offers expiring without follow-up.

9 Rubangakene also called on the government to subsidize laboratory testing fees to facilitate product certification for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

10 He says that currently micro and small businesses pay Shs500,000 for a permit to use Q-Mark for 12 months, while others go up to Shs1 million.

11 As a result, he said, only a few entities are willing to certify their products and Ugandan products fail to reach the international market. He says this high price has also limited the goal of certifying 4,500 products.

12 Rubangakene also called for a proper recapitalization of Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), saying this will unlock investment in strategic economic sectors.

13 Mbarara City Representative Hon Rita Atukwasa acknowledged the challenge with industrial parks and questioned whether, in their wisdom, civil society believes that supporting Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) is the way forward.

14 The committee chair, Hon Mwine Mpaka, tasked the team with explaining whether the UDC capitalization exists. Mpaka said that as a committee they expected a more detailed and well-researched presentation.

15 “This information that you are giving us, we already have it. We need figures; what’s happening in the economy, and how to fix it. We need information about the real situation on the ground, ”said Mpaka.

16 Rubangakene promised to present a detailed report to the committee.

17

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