URA sets new targets to plug corruption losses
Posted Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 02:00
The shortfall. URA’s cumulative shortfall stands at Shs146 billion.
To close its revenue shortfall, the tax body has introduced a plan that will see it increase its collection targets with a surplus of about Shs29 billion this financial year.
The plan was hatched in response to the government directive in December last year that Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) collects another Shs34 billion in addition to the Shs7.2 trillion it was assigned to gather earlier in the financial year.
Grand-scale corruption in the Office of the Prime Minister saw more than Shs50 billion meant for northern Uganda reconstruction programme, following years of insurgency, stolen by government officials.
URA has been struggling to beat its revenue collection targets over the months, cumulatively standing at Shs146 billion.
“The shortfall of Shs146 billion implies that the target for the remaining five months of the financial year must increase by Shs29.4 billion on average, if the annual target is to be realised,” URA deputy commissioner corporate communications Sarah Banage Birungi, said last week.
She continued: “The target for February 2012 is Shs575 billion in addition to the Shs29.4 billion that must be collected to cover the shortfall.”
Two months ago, the government issued a new revenue collection target, demanding that URA collects an additional Shs34 billion on top of the Shs7.2 trillion that was agreed at the beginning of this financial year.
The adjustment was meant to cover the gap created by the donor community, following their suspension of aid to Uganda because of corruption in government departments—particularly in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The executive director of the East African School of taxation Mr Godfrey Akena, however, says the move is ambitious given that by now, the tax body should be thinking of exceeding its set collection targets.
But URA says through tightening its revenue collection processes and systems, it has always prevailed over such tight circumstances.