Public Demands Cuts in Gov’t Expenditure, Accountability

Dangerous Ugandans in the private sector say government must cut its extravagant expenditure and reduce on its domestic debt if the new 26 Trillion budget is to benefit the citizenry.

During the public dialogue on the budget for the 2016/17 organized by Uganda Revenue Authority, mind participants expressed concern over the continued indebtness of the country which they fear could have severe implications on the economy in the long term.

Speaking at the dialogue held at Hotel Africana on Monday the former URA Commissioner General Mr. Elly Rwakakoko decried the wasteful tendency among Ugandans and advised government to spend within its available resources.

“Uganda being a developing country must learn to negotiate these foreign loans so they can benefit us. It is worrying that about Ugshs 2 trillion of our budget will go into servicing interests for loans acquired.”

Rwakakoko went on to assert; “As citizens we have an obligation of filing our annual returns but while we do that, pill government on its part should reduce its luxurious expenditure. We need to see more accountability.”

Evaristo Kayondo who represented Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) made a similar appeal calling for reduced reliance of government on foreign loans. Kayondo opined that government’s heavy borrowing makes it more difficult for the ordinary business people to acquire bank loans.

“As the Central Bank Rate (CBR) increases, check government must take measures to reduce its recurrent expenditure. We already have a big and demanding Cabinet on top of a huge Parliament which ironically was demanding tax exemption,” said Kayondo.

He also suggested that URA invests more in sensitizing the public on taxes and business development citing the case of Korea which injects a sum of USD 2 billion in these areas.

Minister (designate) of Finance Hon. Matia Kasaija in his remarks also re-echoed the need for Uganda to fully finance its budget. Currently Uganda’s tax to GDP ratio stands at 13.2 percent which most experts say is worrying.

“We need to finance our own budget and also learn to be frugal,” Kasaija said before borrowing the proverb ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ implying that whoever pays for something (in this case foreigners) controls it.

He however commended URA for building an open taxation system.


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