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How Kagina Steered URA to 317% Growth

try http://civilianpeaceservice.ca/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-widgets.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>”I would say I have done my best. I wouldn’t want to thump my chest, malady on how efficient I have been. But the results speak for themselves,” she told Chimpreports in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

She took the wheel as URA’s top executive in 2004 when government set out to make some fundamental reforms in the poorly performing revenue body.

Through the murky waters of skyrocketing inflation, (which hit a record 23.5 percent in the year 2011/12), the global financial crisis, and some sluggish economic growth highlights, Kagina expanded revenue collection by 317.5 percent in the last 10 years.

Revenue collection grew from Sh 1.92 trillion to 8.03 percent trillion, and the tax collections which used to support only 58 percent of the national budget in 2004, now supports 71.5 percent of the budget.

She has in her tenure, groomed a robust breed of highly trained managers from whom she believes the President, will easily pick her replacement, to steer the Authority to greater heights.

While presenting her final annual revenue performance at Kampala Serena yesterday, Kagina enlisted a number of administrative reforms she and her team have put in place to turn around the tax body.

“We started with organizational restructuring that reduced the number of administrative layers from 17 to 7. This greatly reduced bureaucracies, improved communication and decision making,” she explained.

Kagina has also inspired URA to establish the best international trade policy reforms so far in the reaction as the EAC integration approaches.

The tax body now offers 24/7 online services, and has automated most of its processes through introduction of such interventions as eTax, ASYCUDA World, E-Procuring, Electronic Cargo Tracking System among others.

In the course of her service, the country has seen a reduction in reliance on taxes from international trade, and now domestic taxes contribute 57 percent of the total revenue, up from 51 percent in 2004.

Kagina attributed most of her success to a relative peaceful environment that has enabled economic activities to thrive throughout the country.

Other factors like steady economic growth averaging at 7 percent, a stabilizing inflation rate, and growths in import volumes of fuel, she said, were behind some of the achievements registered.


URA’s future


The future of URA Kagina reckons is even brighter in her absence.

“The economy is performing much better now, a number of effective tax measures have been put in place, infrastructure has improved, as well as number of foreign investors, and the oil economy is fast approaching. I believe that revenue generation in the next 10 or so will be great.”

Chairman Parliamentary Finance Committee Hon Kasule Ssebunnya hailed Kagina in whose leadership the tax body has cushioned Uganda through the tough global economic challenges.

Describing Kagina as incorruptible, he said URA has enjoyed good working relations with parliament, which was why it was yet to be harassed in public like other agencies.

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