‘Be Patriotic Please!’- Min. Kasaija Appeals to Ugandans for Tax Compliance to Fund UGX72 Trn Budget

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Uganda’s financial year 2024/25 budget, amounting to UGX 72.1 trillion, poses a significant challenge for the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to generate local revenue.

During the budget speech at Kololo Independence Grounds on Thursday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija urged Ugandans to fulfill their tax obligations, despite some tax increases approved by Parliament affecting common commodities.

Budget Breakdown and Revenue Targets

Out of the UGX 72.1 trillion budget, URA is tasked with collecting UGX 32 trillion, with UGX 29.366 trillion expected from domestic revenue and UGX 2.616 trillion from Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) collected by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The remaining budget funding sources include:

  • UGX 12.022 trillion from domestic refinancing of maturing debt
  • UGX 9.583 trillion from external project support
  • UGX 8.968 trillion from domestic borrowing
  • UGX 7.779 trillion from treasury bonds to settle outstanding obligations
  • UGX 1.394 trillion from budget support
  • UGX 293.9 billion from local government revenue
  • UGX 115.4 billion from petroleum fund drawdown
Call for Patriotic Tax Compliance

Minister Kasaija emphasized the importance of patriotic efforts from Ugandans in meeting domestic revenue targets.

He highlighted the need to reduce reliance on borrowing and external grants, pointing out the challenges faced when negotiating loans.

“Madam Speaker, I call upon all of you colleagues and fellow Ugandans to support URA and other revenue-collecting institutions to mobilize the necessary revenue. We must raise more revenue and reduce reliance on borrowing and external grants,” Kasaija stated.

Public Debt Concerns

Despite the government’s assurance of debt sustainability, Uganda’s public debt is projected to reach UGX 97.6 trillion by June 30, 2024, representing a 47.9 percent debt-to-GDP ratio.

Budget Priorities

The budget for FY 2024/25 focuses on seven key priorities:

  1. Education, Health, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: UGX 10.204 trillion
  2. Peace and Security: UGX 9.107 trillion
  3. Transport and Infrastructure: UGX 4.989 trillion, including road maintenance, strategic road construction, rehabilitation of the Meter Gauge Railway, and construction of the Standard Gauge Railway
  4. Wealth Creation Initiatives: UGX 2.641 trillion for programs like Parish Development Model (PDM), Emyooga, Agriculture Credit Facility, Youth Skilling, and commercial agriculture
  5. Electricity Transmission and Utilization: UGX 982.6 billion
  6. Disaster Response Contingency Fund: UGX 146.1 billion
  7. International Commitments: UGX 31.1 billion
Competitive Production

President Yoweri Museveni emphasized the importance of producing competitive, high-quality goods to boost the economy. He highlighted the need for affordable electricity, low-cost financing, and efficient labour.

Museveni also stressed reducing transport costs by reactivating railway and water transport for cargo. Recent repairs on the Malaba-Kampala and Tororo-Gulu-Pakwach meter gauge railway lines are part of these efforts.

The President announced plans to start building the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Malaba to Kampala and from Kampala to Mpondwe, with future expansions to Gulu-Nimule.

Economic Growth Sectors

Museveni outlined key sectors for economic growth:

  • Commercial Agriculture
  • Artisanship and Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Currently, 922,998 people are employed in manufacturing, and 5,076,787 in services, showcasing the potential for further economic development if these sectors are well-utilized.

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at thestandard256@gmail.com
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