In Summary
  • He also mentioned human capital development challenges, youth unemployment which is above 60 per cent and corruption
  • He also mentioned human capital development challenges, youth unemployment which is above 60 per cent and corruption

Kampala- The top leadership of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) wants government to lessen the taxation burden that the formal sector is increasingly shouldering.

As a result, the formal sector is already struggling under the weight of exorbitant taxes as nearly half of the population that earns taxable income in the informal sector contributes little or nothing at all to the national kitty.

Speaking during the re-branding of PSFU last week, the board chairman, Mr Patrick Bitature, told government that the formal sector has been squeezed to the last drop.
He said: “You now need more people to squeeze taxes from.”

He continued: “You need to widen the tax base so that everybody can contribute fairly.”
If that is done, Mr Bitature believes it will not be long before the country can free itself from donor funding and contributions to the national budget.

2018/19 Budget
Nearly Shs30 trillion will be required to finance the 2018/19 national budget, with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) expected to domestically collect half of that.
Before that, the PSFU executive director, Mr Gideon Badagawa, enumerated several challenges, among them, trade deficit in excess of $3b (about Shs10 trillion), low domestic revenues hence increased indebtedness and high lending rates.

He also mentioned human capital development challenges, youth unemployment which is above 60 per cent and corruption.

“To deal with these challenges, we must rethink our approach and adapt ourselves to global trends,” Mr Badagawa said during the rebranding of PSFU last week.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Ruhukana Rugunda, said he has taken note of the pain the formal sector is going through due to being excessively taxed. He said it makes no sense for people to be squeezed out of business.
He said: “We are aware about the need to expand the tax base and government will address all the bottle necks you have raised.”

Dr Rugunda urged the private sector to desist from lamenting about the bottlenecks but work towards eliminating them.

New identity
Meanwhile, Dr Ruhakana also unveiled PSFU’s new redefined identity. The new identity marks a new journey for the foundation to scale up its operations and scope from an advocacy, project/grants management and business development support, into a diverse private sector think tank and innovation hub for future growth and sustainability of the private sector.

“Our new identity depicts global integration for Ugandan businesses. The map of Uganda merging into a globe to show international integration. The new tagline ‘Business growth is our growth,’ illustrates that PSFU is here to support, understand and create value for the private sector in Uganda,” Mr Badagawa said in a statement.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com