Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka plans to propose new revenue sources in the 2013/2014 budget today, according to the Budget Frame Work Paper.Extra revenue measures are expected through taxes on fuel, gross income of telecom operators, international calls, and increased fee on motor vehicle registration fees among others.According to Minister Kiwanuka’s brief on the National budget framework paper to NRM Parliamentary Caucus which was adopted by Cabinet, the presidential advisory committee on the budget identified additional revenue measures amounting to 383.4 billion shillings.
The committee proposed an additional 50 shillings excise duty on fuel, a 1% levy by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on gross income of Telecom Operators, motorcycle registration fee of seventy thousand shillings, and motor vehicle registration fee of two hundred thousand shillings among others.
Some of the nominal allocations and percentages to different sectors in the frame work paper indicate 8.9% for Security, 15.1% for Transport and Works, 3.3% for Agriculture, 13.3% for Education, 8.0% for Health, 3.3% for Water and Environment, and 4.7% for Justice Law and Order.
Government agreed that in consistence with the National Development Plan and the NRM Manifesto that the priorities for Financial Year 2013/2014 should be maintenance of National Security and defence, Infrastructural development in Transport and Energy, Enhancement of Science, Technology and innovation for industrialization. All these remain proposals until they appear in the final Budget reading by Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka later today.
Francis Koleken, Project Coordinator for public financing for agriculture at Action Aid Uganda, said that in the final reading government should redeem itself by making very substantial commitments in the next financial year.
Koleken, who was involved in the planning process of the Budget Paper, added that government should consider key sectors that have a capacity to move the people above the poverty level such as agriculture and health.
The Vision 2040 projects the country’s households to earn between 2.6 million and 10 million shillings and reach lower middle income status in 2017. The figure is expected to hit upper middle-income status of between 10 and 33 million by 2032. Agriculture and Oil revenues are expected to be key to achieving this, and yet both of them have a link to the environment and climate change.