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KCCA fails to collect Shs20b in revenue as taxi saga drags on

Minister Benny Namugwanya (left) with the Kampala Lord Mayor Arias Lukwago at a past event. Courtesy photo.

KAMPALA–The Presidential Affairs Committee of Parliament has asked KCCA to ensure that the impasse between the authority and taxi operators over taxi fees is resolved quickly.

This follows revelation from the Executive Director that revenue collection has suffered during the first half of the current financial year.

The technical leadership of the authority led by the state minister for Kampala Benny Namugwanya appeared before the committee this morning to share their considerations of the Budget frame work paper for the authority for the FY 2018/2019.

The deputy director of treasury at the authority Julius Kabugo revealed that revenue collections had suffered as a result of taxi operators in the city making an appeal to the president for a review of the charges levied by KCCA, negotiations according to KCCA are still ongoing to come up with operational guidelines.

“There are engagements going on to come up with the operational guidelines and the new instrument that is going to guide the collection of this money,” he said.

He reveals over Shs10bn has been lost as a result of the delay.

Late last year taxi operators protested the monthly levy of Shs120.000 per taxi, they appealed to the president who directed that the taxi operators should pay an affordable rate once a year.

The chairperson of the committee Jessica Ababiku argued that these negotiations cannot go on indefinitely owing to the adverse impact on revenue collection.

“We need to get a clear period and you are a member of cabinet as you were reminded earlier make use of that, we need a definite period,” she told the minister.

Minister Namugwanya informed the committee that yesterday the president directed that a meeting with all stakeholders in the taxi rates saga be held immediately, she revealed that a meeting will be called within two weeks.

Kabugo also disclosed that revenue collection had suffered as a result of a change in the revenue collection model when government directed that all non-tax revenue be remitted to URA accounts, Kabugo notes that this affected their clients.

The committee chairperson Jessica Ababiku noted that in order for parliament to help boost revenue collection they needed to look at the revenue mobilization plan of the authority.

“We appreciate what Kampala contributes in terms of revenue to this country but honorable minister for us to be able to support revenue mobilization we need the internal mobilization plan to be shared with this committee,” she directed.

According to Kabugo the authority had projected collections of Shs57bn in the first half of the financial year but realized only Shs37bn.

The budget framework for 2018/2019 indicates that non tax revenue will fall from Shs122.8bn this financial year to Shs116.5bn. The total operational budget of the authority will see a reduction from Shs479.32bn in 2017/2018 to Shs470.95bn in 2018/2019.

The MPs also took exception to manner in which the authority was handling solid waste management in the city.

The Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi blasted the KCCA officials for failing to reign in the solid waste management contractors who were levying varying and exorbitant charges on city dwellers and traders.

He also accused the authority of not declaring and remitting the collections from charges on solid waste management services.

Kasozi took exception to a resolution by KCCA to sensitize and mobilize the public and politicians especially those who incite the citizens against the collection of garbage.

“I don’t want to promise that we are going to keep quiet……because they don’t have a structure that a poor dweller is supposed to pay such and such an amount, the people who are collecting the money we don’t know where they are taking the money,” he stressed.

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