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New Revenue Monitoring Unit a ‘Duplication of Roles’, Says UPC

Sharon Oyat Arach - Spokesperson of Uganda people's Congress (UPC)

Kampala, Uganda – The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has expressed caution over the newly created State House Revenue Intelligence and Strategic Operations Unit, warning that it may lead to a duplication of roles and a waste of resources.

This comes after president Yoweri Museveni, created a State House Revenue Intelligence and Strategic Operations Unit to do an oversight on the operations of Uganda Revenue Authority in a bid to curb corruption in the tax administration system.

Speaking at their weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Kampala, UPC spokesperson Arach Oyat Sharon, noted that the country already has bodies in place charged with the mandate of carrying out inspections on all government institutions forexample detecting corruption among the officials.  “The creation of this new unit is a duplication of roles, which can lead to collision and misinterpretation of roles,” Sharon said. “We already have bodies like the Inspectorate of Government and the Anti-corruption Court, which are tasked with monitoring corruption and revenue collection. This new unit may render the efforts of rationalization of government agencies futile.”

Sharon also expressed concern over the cost of operating the new unit, which she said will be a burden on taxpayers. “The tax payers have to tighten their belts as the newly created revenue monitoring unit comes with a cost,” she said.

According to Arach, even if government puts in place a super revenue monitoring unit which is on top of the game, effective and efficient, the country’s tax base is still very narrow and burdened with exorbitant taxes, adding that it needs to be widened by the government to ease the tax payers.

She also noted that the country’s tax policies and tax base present significant challenges to taxpayers, who are the ultimate source of government revenue. “Our tax policies and tax base present outright challenges to the taxpayer, who is the ultimate source of government revenue,” she said. “Uganda is yet to conclude talks with traders on full implementation of Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).”

Sharon urged the government to prioritize investments that stabilize socio-economic conditions and enable the Uganda Revenue Authority to effectively carry out its mandate. “The government should continue investing well in infrastructure like roads, markets, banking sector, cooperative movements, farming, transport, industrial parks, and generation of hydroelectric power which is affordable,” she said.

The UPC’s warning comes at a time when the government is facing criticism over its handling of the economy, with many businesses struggling to stay afloat due to high taxes and other operational costs.

 

Derrick Kanalo
the authorDerrick Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
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