SIR â€” all along I have appreciated and hailed government efforts to promote Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) through the establishment of the Microfinance Outreach Plan (MOP).
SIR â€” all along I have appreciated and hailed government efforts to promote Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) through the establishment of the Microfinance Outreach Plan (MOP). MOP has done tremendous work through tripartite arrangement between government, donors and the private sector to spread sustainable microfinance services to under-served areas in Uganda with the aim of benefiting as many rural people as possible to eradicate poverty. It should also be noted that most of the SACCOs are still in their infancy with a lot of capacity building needs to strengthen their delivery of microfinance sound practices. The beneficiaries of these SACCOs which are member-owned, member-run and member-used are the poor people mainly in the rural areas struggling to improve their livelihoods through micro-savings and micro-credit. It defeats my understanding when the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with an aim of meeting its revenue collection targets, wakes up to tax the SACCOs. Though the tax board is giving an excuse of targeting the surplus earned by these SACCOs, the so- called surplus is not realistic bearing in mind the poor management information system (MIS) existent in these SACCOs. Taxing these SACCOs will strangle the government efforts to promote the microfinance industry and will counter the Boona Bagawale programme. There is already a threat to close the SACCOs that will not remit taxes to URA. I therefore appeal to the concerned bodies such as MOP and the apex organisations such as Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA), Microfinance Support Centre Limited (MSC) and the donors to intervene in addressing this concern. I hope the legislators will also treat this matter as significant in protecting their constituents. My humble appeal also goes to the Minister in charge of Microfinance, Gen Caleb Akandwanaho to please come to the rescue of the SACCOs.
Odomaro Byamugisha Microfinance Officer
Kizza Besigyeâ€™s campaign is obviously personal