Govt to increase passport fee

PARLIAMENT.

A Ugandan will pay Shs30,000 more for a passport, the government has proposed.
Should it come to pass, the fee for an ordinary as well as for a diplomatic passport will increase from Shs120,000 to Shs150,000.

The proposal contained in the Finance Bill, 2015, suggests the new fee should come into effect on July 1.

Mr Jacob Siminyu, the public relations officer of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control, which receives the applications for and issues passports, said the Finance ministry is better placed to explain the proposed increment.

Mr Jim Mugunga, the spokesperson of the ministry of Finance, however, said this is one of the many ways of raising government revenue.

“The government generates revenue from all sorts of items. (Increasing the application fee for) passports is one of the methods to help it to raise revenue,” Mr Mugunga told the Daily Monitor yesterday during a telephone interview.

This is the second time in as many financial years that the government is increasing the application fee for passports.

Mr Mugunga said the Budget is an annual event.
“So every Budget cycle, the President, who owns the Budget, has to find ways of raising revenue. Some taxes are increased, some are reduced,” he added.

Parliament’s sessional committees are currently going through the National Budget Framework Paper (NBFP) for the financial year 20152016 and the Ministerial Policy Statements.

They will be involved in this until April 20.
From April 20 to 24, they should submit their reports, with recommendations therein, on the NBFP to the Budget committee.

On April 30, the House committee on Budget should present a report on the NBFP on the floor of Parliament.

And from May 4 to 15, all committees should present their reports to the House.
The application fee for an East African passport remains unchanged, at Shs80, 000.

nwesonga@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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