Museveni says Uganda has survived without foreign aid during the pandemic

Uganda has survived without foreign help-Museveni

By Edwin Muhumuza

President Museveni has hailed his government saying it was able to keep the country’s economy afloat in the wake of the global Covid 19 pandemic.

In his speech to parliament during the budget speech 2010/21,in which he told legislators that he refused to be pessimistic about the economy and its growth projections.

He has again reiterated his attack on bureaucrats that he has blamed for having slowed down the country’s efforts to come up with a COVID-19 cure and continued to sound a caution to corrupt public servants warning that his government was purging state institutions of the vice just like he ordered the firing of Uganda Revenue Officials.

Earlier, Finance minister Matia Kasaija announced measures expected to stimulate the economy which has slowed down .

The economic growth is recorded at 3.1% in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic according to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, contrary to previous projections that were put at 6% .

The minister however insisted that the economy was on the path of recovery and not collapse.

Among the stimuli government included 130 Billion shillings for youth affected by Corvid-19 mainly in Kampala. This coupled with another 94 Billion for Micro Businesses that are tax compliant.

The other round of stimuli packages include tax waivers worth 12.5bn of 10,000 companies in Corporate tax and a waiver of presumptive tax worth 1.38bn affecting over 22,000 companies.

Relatedly, government has waived Pay As You Earn until 30th June for tax compliant businesses a move it says will ensure that money will be retained by the business community.

This includes, waivers amounting to 65.5billion for Manufacturing and tourism sectors as well as interest and tax penalties waivers incurred before July 1st- amounting to 50bn shillings.

The Finance minister has also announced that companies that made donations towards Corvid-19 relief will not be taxed to the tune of the amount contributed.

In addition payement of outstanding VAT returns amounting to 120.53 Billion Shs will be refunded.

In her remarks the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga urged government to implement digital working methods in a bid to safe guard the economy from being affected negatively by emergencies.

This following the locust evasion,corvid-19 and floods which have had an impact on the economy leading to loss of revenue.

Uganda parliament in April approved a Shs 45 trillion budget for FY 2020/21. Works and Transport takes the biggest share at Shs 5.8 trillion (13%) 2. Security Shs 4.5 trillion (10%) 3. Interest Payment Shs 4 trillion (9%) 4. Education Shs 3.6 trillion (8%) 5. Health Shs 2.7 trillion (6%)

Meanwhile,government is set to borrow shs 11trillion and as the house prepares to sit on 16th June, several alignments will be made and some will include ;a cut on travel and conferences worth billions of shillings, taxes on products that can be manufactured in Uganda in a bid to encourage import substitution and emphasis on agriculture as a resilient sector of the economy.

According to the finance minister, the Corona Virus pandemic has necessitated additional interventions and resource allocations after the Budget was approved.

“We have since been undertaking extensive consultations with several stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, on remedial actions. Consequently, the budgets of all Ministries, Agencies and Local Governments will be revised to align them with the nine (9) strategic priorities and 14 production lines articulated by His Excellency, the President. This will focus the budget on production and not consumption.” Kasaija remarked.