Some Budget proposals may kill growth – CSOs

Civil Society is concerned that several Budget proposals for the next financial year may suffocate the economy if not revised.

“Increased excise duty on petrol and diesel from Shs950 to Shs1,000 and Shs630 to Shs680 per litre respectively, may create room for fuel companies to cheat the public. Suppliers have a tendency of increasing the pump price regardless of increment in tax,” Seatini Uganda programme officer Nelly Busingye Mugisha said on behalf of the Civil Society Budget Aocacy Group in Bukoto, Kampala, yesterday.

“We recommend that government regulates fuel companies to prevent disproportionate increases in fuel pump prices because it increases the cost of doing business,” she added.

Ms Mugisha, however, applauded government for the proposal to levy operator licence fees on boda boda. “We recommend that the boda boda fee be increased from the proposed Shs30,000 to Shs200,000 annually. This will help streamline boda boda services in the country.”

The civil society activists also said the proposed increase of Shs150,000 from Shs120,000 for an ordinary passport is prohibitive.
“We further observe that whereas the time for obtaining an express passport has been stipulated, the rest of the categories have not been accorded the same.

We again observe that there are no express remedies available to citizens in the event of failure to honour the stated timelines for issuance of the passport,” said Mr Henry Mugisha Bazira, the executive director of Water Governance Institute.

The NGOs also commended government on several tax adjustment proposals. “Removal of excise duty of $0.09 (about Shs2,700) per minute on all incoming calls from northern corridor member states (Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan) to promote the EAC integration process is a great idea,” Mr Bazira said.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor



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