Business
MPs, civil servants blasted over tax, license reforms delay
Publish Date: Jul 15, 2014
MPs, civil servants blasted over tax, license reforms delay
The finance minister Maria Kiwanuka (right) handover a plague to the executive director of Private Sector Foundation Gideon Balidawa during the closure of Uganda Investment Climate Program at Kampala Sheraton Hotel . Photo by Francis Emorut
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Francis Emorut

The Business Licensing and Regulatory Reform Committee has blasted Parliament and the bureaucrats in government agencies for not passing tax reform laws and frustrating the implementation of business licensing reforms respectively.

“Why does it take Parliament 4-5 years without passing business laws in terms of accessing license and doing business in Uganda?” Gideon Balidawa asked.

“There is need to amend redundant laws and this hasn’t been done.” he stated.

He observed that lack of amendments of licensing laws was hampering the business community from transacting business in the country and non-harmonisation of trade regulations in East African Community.

The committee that was set up by the ministry of finance in March 2011 to spearhead compressive review of licensing laws and regulations found that the total compliance cost of business licenses amounts to sh725.7b representing 3.5% of gross domestic product

The finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka (Left) talks to the executive director of Private Sector Foundation Gideon Balidawa (Centre) and Dr. Peter Ngategezi (Right)during the closure of Uganda Investment Climate Program at Kampala Sheraton Hotel . PHOTO/ Francis Emorut 

“We have people frustrating the implementation of business license and tax reforms. How can we get the civil servants to work on the implementation of the reforms?” he asked

Baliwada who is also the executive director of Private Sector Foundation accused the civil servants of dragging their feet by not communicating to the Committee on how far they have gone with implementation.

“We are talking of reforms passed by cabinet and chaired by His Excellence the President and nothing is happening.” Balidawa noted

“If we are to market Uganda in East Africa as one common business destination we have to style up,” he said.

Baliwada who represented the chairperson of the reform committee Gerald Ssendaula was speaking during the closure of Uganda Investment Climate program at Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

The program was funded by World Bank Group under the International Finance Corporation.

Some of the licenses the committee wants reviewed include Investment Code Act (3 licenses), Cooperative Societies Act (3licenses), Fish Act (1license) and Enguli Manufacturing and License Act (2licenses).

As for the laws Parliament should expedite are Hides and Skins(export duty) Amendment Bill 2014, Companies Act Amendment Bill 2014, Liquor (repeal) Bill 2014, Rivers Amendment Bill 2014, Produce and Protection Amendment Bill 2014 and Public Health (sale of milk and products) Amendment Rules 2014.

Dr. Peter Ngategize the coordinator of the program also expressed his disappoint with the civil servants and Parliament.

“We hope that the files (handled by civil servants) don’t get lost but referred to as far as business license tax reforms are concerned. Parliament should expedite amendments on tax reforms and regulations,” Ngategize said.

He observed that small medium enterprises are doing business at a higher cost because of so many licenses required and the business community is frustrated at large.

The finance minister Maria Kiwanuka assured the committee that government ministries will work in coordinated manner and ensure that reforms are implemented and Parliament performs its duty of amending the laws.

Related Stories

BUDGET: New, increased taxes

East African states raise taxes to fund growing budgets

Budget: Women cry foul over water, make-up taxes

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
‘There is massive potential to tap into local online businesses’
On his visit to Uganda recently, Hellofood Africa founder and CEO, Joe Falter revealed the massive investment potential that lies in online businesses....
Mrs Blair to support Ugandan women on financial literacy
Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is to support 30,000 women in financial literacy, managerial and entrepreneurial skills....
Livestock farmers advised to exploit agriculture show
Livestock farmers across the country have been asked to go for this year's agriculture show that will take place in Jinja, to learn and improve on the productivity of their stock....
Uganda’s economy is on track
Lately, the public has been awash with myths and self-invented theories about the economy, the depreciation of the shilling....
Oil tumbles in Asia as Greek vote shakes world markets
Oil fell in Asia Monday as investors digested the implications of Greece rejecting tough austerity demands from creditors....
Gov’t cautioned on trade agreements signing
Government has been cautioned against signing international trade and bilateral agreements without scrutinizing their impact on indigenous business firms....
Do you think Ugandan graduates are the worst in the region?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter