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Human capital, security & governance take lion’s share

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Amos Lugoloobi state minister for planning

Amos Lugoloobi state minister for planning

Government will next financial year spend a big chunk of the budget on interventions for human capital development, security and integrated transport infrastructure among others.

The 2021/2022 financial year budget set to come into effect on 1st July 2021 was today Thursday afternoon presented to parliament by newly appointed minister of state for Planning and Ntenjeru North MP Amos Lugoloobi on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni.

The budget totaling Shs 44.7 trillion is under the theme ‘Industrialisation for Inclusive Growth, Employment and Wealth Creation.’ 

Under the budget, Shs 7.7 trillion has been earmarked for human capital development; Shs 6.9 trillion for peace, security and good governance interventions; Shs 5.1 trillion for development of integrated transport infrastructure and others.

The other provisions are Shs 1.6 trillion for agro-industrialization; Shs 49 billion for mineral development interventions; Shs 560 billion for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, Shs 376.9 billion for the Judiciary; Shs 134.9 billion to enhance digitisation of the economy.

Budget financing 

The coming financial year budget will be financed through domestic revenue amounting Shs 22.42 trillion of which Shs 20.83 trillion will be tax revenue and Shs 1.58 trillion non-tax revenue. 

The other sources of budget financing are domestic borrowing amounting to Shs 2.94 trillion, Petroleum Fund Shs 200 billion, budget support Shs 3.58 trillion, external financing for projects Shs 6.86 trillion of which Shs 5.51 trillion is from loans, and Shs 1.34 trillion is from grants. 

Appropriation in aid, collected by Local Governments amounts to Shs 212.4 billion and domestic debt refinancing will amount to Shs 8.547 trillion.

Lugoloobi said “The fiscal strategy for FY 2021/22 and the medium-term aims to create resources to finance priority interventions, while maintaining fiscal and debt sustainability. It is premised on mobilizing a higher level of domestic revenue and enhancing returns from public investment. The government will also undertake a review of public expenditure to improve efficiency.”

According to Lugoloobi, local revenue will be raised from several tax measures set by government.

“The increase in tax collections will be realized from an improvement in the level of economic activity, increased efficiency in tax collection by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) through strengthening compliance and enforcement, as well as new tax measures and administration reforms,” Lugoloobi said.

Some of the tax policy interventions which will be implemented in the coming FY 2021/2022 are reforming taxation of rental income to remove the incentive for non-individual rental taxpayers to claim unrestricted deductions which significantly reduce their tax contribution, reduce rates of depreciation for some classes of assets, discontinue the concurrent deduction of initial allowances and depreciation in the first year of use of qualifying assets and others.

The others are reviewing the capital gains tax regime by allowing for the effect of inflation and providing tax relief for venture capital investments, broaden the scope of taxation of plastics to cover all plastics, rationalize the excise duty regime on telecommunication services by scrapping the excise duty on Over the Top (OTT) and introduce a harmonized excise duty rate of 12.0 per cent on airtime, value-added services and internet data excluding data for provision of medical services and the provision of education services. 

The others are the introduction of an export levy of 7 per cent on the value of fish maw exports, export levy of 5 per cent and 10 per cent on processed and unprocessed gold and other minerals respectively.

Tax administration measures 

Lugoloobi told MPs that URA will implement administrative interventions to boost revenue collection by among others; strengthening tax arrears management and recovery, enhance data analysis through interfaces with other government information systems to enhance taxpayer compliance, enforce tax compliance using the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and  Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) and Digital Tax Stamps.

The others are enforcing enhanced licensing requirements for clearing and tax agents, and bond operators, improve detection of smugglers using non-intrusive inspection equipment, and close all bonded houses for imported sugar for re-export to avoid undeclaration and misclassification.

“These administrative measures will generate about Shs 800 billion in revenue collections, and the capacity of local governments to collect revenue will be enhanced through training and ICT infrastructure,” Lugoloobi added.



Source – observer.ug

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Russia fires warning shots at British destroyer in Black Sea | Russia News

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Russia says one of its warships fired warning shots to deter a British destroyer from its waters near Crimea.

A Russian military ship fired warning shots at British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender after it entered Russian waters in the Black Sea and a Russian jet dropped bombs in its path, Interfax cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Wednesday.

The Defender left Russian waters soon afterwards, having ventured as much as 3km (2 miles) inside, the ministry said.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Former winners Spain, holders Portugal face early Euro 2020 exit | Euro2020 News

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Portugal take on world champions France while Spain will face Slovakia on last day of group matches.

Spain and reigning champions Portugal are at risk of a shock early exit from Euro 2020 on Wednesday.

Former world champions Germany, meanwhile, need a draw at the Allianz Arena in the Bavarian capital to reach the last 16 on the last day of group matches but defeat would send Hungary through and possibly condemn Joachim Loew’s side to another group-stage exit, just like at the 2018 World Cup.

That is unthinkable for Germany, who beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 4-2 at the weekend to kickstart their campaign but could be without Thomas Mueller due to a knee injury.

Portugal, who beat France at the last edition’s final to claim the trophy, will be eliminated if they lose to the same opponents and Hungary win but a draw will definitely take the 2016 champions through to the last 16.

France have already qualified but will want to win to secure top spot, meaning a theoretically easier tie in the next round.

Portugal’s neighbours Spain are in a similarly tricky position heading into their final Group E game against Slovakia in Seville.

The 2008 and 2012 European champions have drawn both matches so far against Sweden and Poland.

They need to win this time to be sure of reaching the knockout phase, although a draw would be enough to qualify as a best third-placed team, provided Poland fail to beat Sweden in Saint Petersburg.

“I have a feeling that we are like a bottle of cava that is about to be uncorked,” said coach Luis Enrique.

“As soon as we put in one complete performance and get a big victory, the confidence will come and you will start to see the best of us.”

Slovakia need a point to be certain of progressing, while Robert Lewandowski’s Poland have to beat already-qualified Sweden to advance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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UAE-produced film slammed for depicting Qatar a ‘terrorist state’ | GCC News

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The Misfits, a Hollywood film co-produced by an Emirati company, condemned as ‘immoral’ and ‘absurd’.

A Hollywood film co-produced by an Emirati film company has been condemned as “immoral” and “absurd” for portraying Qatar as a “terrorist state”.

The Misfits, co-produced, filmed, and financed by the UAE-based FilmGate Production in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Highland Film Group, tells the story of savvy thief Richard Pace, played by Pierce Brosnan, who escapes from a high-security US prison and goes on to steal millions from the world’s most secure facilities.

In the film, the director refers to Qatar as “Jazeeristan” and accuses its citizens of supporting “terrorist organisations” while Abu Dhabi’s mercenaries are depicted as heroes, Doha News reported.

It added that the film portrays Qatar-based Egyptian Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi as “the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the sponsor of global terrorism”.

‘Absurd’

The report cited Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Nasser, as saying in a video posted online that The Misfits is nothing more than an attempt by the UAE to “destroy Qatar’s reputation”.

A Twitter user, who watched a leaked copy of the movie, describes it as “absurd” and not worthy of feedback.

“Shame on whoever funded this nonsense,” he added.

Palestinian journalist Jamal Rayyan described the film as “immoral”.

In a series of tweets, Qatari scholar Muhammad al-Kubaisi also slammed the film.

“May God never bless the Emirati leadership. They are using Hollywood and producing a movie called The Misfits, which cost them more than $50m dollars to damage Qatar’s reputation and accuse its peaceful society of terrorism,” he said.

“I do not know why exactly the UAE wants to damage Qatar’s reputation? Is it because we are Muslims and united with God and it wants to eliminate Islam and Muslims? Does the UAE want to distance Qatar from the essence of Islam and support of Muslims everywhere?”

The development came just months after Qatar and its neighbours renewed ties after more than three years of a blockade imposed on Doha by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE.

Qatari and UAE officials held their first meeting since the detente in February this year. In January, the UAE resumed air and sea entry points to Qatar.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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