Parliament Approves UGX 23bn Additional Budget to URA

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In short
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is to get an additional Shillings 23billion in the coming financial year 2019/2020 budget. This is on top of the authority’s budgetary allocation of 431.26 billion shillings.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is to get an additional 23 billion shillings in the next financial year. This is on top of the authority's budgetary allocation of 431.26 billion shillings.

In the current financial year, URA was allocated 331.92 billion shillings budget.

Henry Musasizi, the Chairperson of parliament's Finance Committee told parliament chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah that in order to address the vulnerabilities and challenges arising from growth of the trade volumes for example concealment in containerized cargo and border insecurities, URA needs more equipment to cover all the main gazette points of entry.

18 million shillings will be used to procure and install 2 scanners for Elegu and Mutukula to stop loss of revenue through concealment. Currently, URA operates 6 scanners deployed in Malaba and Busia.

Musasizi said that following the installation of scanners at Busia and Malaba six months ago, government has been able to recover Shillings 18 billion that would have been lost through concealment.

Describing it as a direct return on investment, Musasizi cited the need for the country to procure more scanners every financial year so that in the medium to long term, all border points are covered.

If scanners for Elegu and Mutukula are procured this coming financial year, government will be remaining to install others at Mpondwe, Katuna, Bunagana, Mirama Hills, Cyanika, Afogi, Lwakhaha and other border points.

On top of new scanners, 4 billion shillings will be used to acquire e-seals to track cargo electronically and stop dumping.

Musasizi said that transit statistics indicate that 50 percent of the cargo through Uganda is majorly fast moving consumer-products and that all this volume should accordingly be e-tracked as a priority before addressing other cargo.

He said that in the next financial year 2,000 addition e-seals should be acquisition on top of the already acquired 2,900 under the Electronic Cargo Tracking System.

Parliament also approved another 1 billion for URA to purchase 3 vehicles for Dar-es-Salaam, Kisumu and Eldoret to enable its officers conduct their work without transport challenges.

"Some of the Offices of Uganda Revenue Authority have no vehicles to support operations yet mobility is very critical in revenue collection. A case in point is Dar-es-Salaam, Kisumu and Eldoret where offices move on motorcycles or hike lifts from vehicles for other countries to conduct official duties. This curtails the work of the office to ensure checks on goods, factories and warehouses for proper verification," said Musasizi.

In the next financial year, government has projected a revenue collection target of 20.25 trillion shillings up from this financial year's target of 16.4 trillion. 

The 2019/2020 proposed National Budget totals 39.5 trillion shillings.  


Tagged with: URA scanners

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.