Uganda’s Cabinet has tasked the country’s finance ministry to table new laws that will regulate the provision of new financial services across the country.
It comes after cabinet approved provisions that will replace some of the existing laws, which government thinks can no longer address the financial needs of consumers and the public.
Under the new financial laws, Licensing of Islamic Banking has been approved, provision of financial services by the telecommunication companies, provision of insurance services by banks and access to credit reference services by other institutions other than banks have all be adopted by the cabinet.
While addressing the media Tuesday morning, Rose Namayanja, the Minister of Information and National Guidance said the new financial laws were approved after government realized that as the banking industry expands, several laws were obsolete and customers could not benefit from some of the services excluded by the current laws.
She says the finance ministry has now been directed to table the relevant bills in the parliament for debate and approval so that they become laws that will govern the industry.
Namayanja says this has taken long, but comes after consultations with various stakeholders on the need to provide more and better services to the customers;
The minister also says cabinet has proposed a law that will stop family members or relatives from owning more than 49% of shares in a given bank. She says this will help check influence peddling and corruption in the banking sector.
Namayanja says bills on stamp duty, excise duty, lottery gaming and tax procedure codes have already been tabled before parliament pending approval. She says outdated provisions will be repealed to pave way for the new laws to take effect
Namaynja is hopeful that this will improve the provision of financial services in the country. Banks have not yet commented on the latest developments by the cabinet.