Members of Parliament on the Finance Committee have criticized
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for slowing down on the installation of scanners
at all border entry points.
This was during a meeting on Tuesday with officials from URA led by the
Commissioner General Doris Akol over the Budget Framework Paper for the coming
financial year 2020/2021.
In her presentation before the Committee, Akol indicated that the tax body
requires an additional 75 billion Shillings under Customs Tax Collection to
purchase 5 scanners.
She noted that if not provided, this could affect non-intrusive customs
inspections an effective risk management initiative bound with revenue
potential, facilitation, security and statistics for the nation.
According to the Budget Framework Paper, URA has been provided a budget
allocation of 438.2 billion Shillings for financial year 2020/2021 and the tax
body is expected to collect 21.54 trillion in domestic revenue to finance the
proposed Shillings 39.64 trillion election-year budget.
However, Akol’s quest for funds to purchase scanners raised concern from the
Finance Committee Chairperson Henry Musasizi over the delay to prioritize the
matter noting that a presidential directive to install scanners at all border
entry points had not been taken seriously.
In 2018 URA bought scanners worth 58 billion Shillings for the border points of
Busia and Malaba to improve revenue collection and avert smuggling.
Kachumbala County MP Patrick Isiagi notes that since then even
though the funds were retained in the budget, the more scanners to cover all
entry points were never purchased.
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Musasizi was also interested in knowing what mechanisms URA was planning to
apply in order to control movement through several border points especially his
Kigezi area that has several well-known border points that are not manned by
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The Committee directed the Commissioner General Akol to re-appear on
Tuesday next week together with officials from the Ministry of Finance for further
explanation on the matter.