KAMPALA – President Museveni has said digital tax stamps are a way of eliminating fraud and directed that they be installed in all factories.
In a November 18 letter to the Finance Minister Matia Kashaija, the President says all factories in Uganda must give access to the company, SICPA, to install the stamps, wondering what they are hiding.
“I, therefore, direct that all factories in Uganda must give access to the company (SICPA) to install the cameras at our cost (government),” Museveni said in the letter.
“URA should not waste money buying more equipment. Bu copy of this letter, I am directing the Ministry of Agriculture and UNBS to discuss with SICPA what that company can help them with to digitally monitor quality, prices and location of the respective items,” he added.
Since they came into effect on November one, manufacturers have met stiff resistance in different forums including courts, the implementation of the digital tax stamps.
On November 1, Uganda Revenue Authority implemented the digital stamp system where machines are installed at factories to help the tax body tell in real-time the production capacity to estimate tax revenue collection but the move has met stiff resistance from manufacturers.
However, the manufacturers went to court, opposing the tax.
But High Court dismissed with costs an interim application seeking to block the government URA from implementing and enforcing the Digital Tax Stamps.
Justice Musa Ssekaana of Civil Division of High Court dismissed the application filed by Alcohol Association of Uganda and 38 companies led by Nile Breweries Limited-NBL arguing that courts cannot grant an injunction which will have the effect of suspending the operation of the legislation.
“Suspending the operation of a law that has not been declared unconstitutional is a very serious matter. The grant of this application would amount to just that and this would be without hearing any evidence”, said Ssekaana. He said the laws are made for the good of the State and the power to tax as quite rightly pointed out by the Attorney General is a power upon which the entire fabric of society is based.
“The courts should consider and take into account a wider public interest. The Public bodies should not be prevented from exercising the powers conferred under the Statute unless the person seeking an injunction can establish that the public authority is acting unlawfully”, he said.