KAMPALA – The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija has said it was about time farmers started paying taxes in this country if Uganda is to increase its GDP ratio.
“For as long as you stay in Uganda, you need to pay tax, if you don’t, you are cheating yourself. How do I increase our tax GDP ratio? Me I have scratched my head with the people I work with, in vain. There is money but where we don’t know where it is going,” said Minister Kasaija.
The Minister also falsely claimed without evidence that at the moment, Uganda is exporting more than the nation is importing to neighboring countries, contrary to statistics that show that Uganda’s current account deficit stands at USD 3Bn approximately Shs11Trn.
Kasaija made the remarks at the Economic Summit held at Serena Hotel in Kampala and while addressing the guests, the Minister admitted that the rate at which Government is executing different projects leaves a lot to be desired and that it was about time Ugandans were told about that problem.
He also confessed that the Government has run out of expanding its tax base remarking that there is a possibility that some people owning properties are not paying taxes the way they are supposed to do.
He also admitted that though the economy is growing, some regions in Uganda are not growing, “There are some areas where poverty is still biting hard, despite that some parts have already achieved middle-income status.”
During the discussion, Prof Samuel Sejjaakka, a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a Certified Public Accountant of Uganda lashed out at the Government for taxing Ugandans to death.
“Government is taxing this economy to death. What even hurts more is that when revenue is mobilised, it is then used to buy cars. This makes it hard to sustain effective taxation.”
“When I hear my colleagues in Government talking about business and things like discipline, accountability and others, I always wonder why they are in Government and not doing business with us. If you are not doing anything for the government, you hardly have anything to say, we are all beholden to the government,” added Prof Sejjaakka.
Dr. Sejjaaka a former Uganda Development Bank chairman said politics is the genesis of all sugar problems in this market, it’s called the Sugar politics.