Wednesday June 18 2014

Govt advised to tap into ‘briefcase’ businesses



The former executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority, Prof Maggie Kigozi, has advised government to consider tapping into “briefcase” businesses, because their numbers are growing big and they hold a sizable amount of the economy’s cash flow.

She said: “Government needs to find a way of taxing middlemen or call them briefcase businesses. The only challenge is that they are neither regulated nor established, but it’s a good idea to explore than straining the education sector,” said Ms Kigozi.

Prof Kigozi said taxing private schools was “not a good idea” because the burden will be shifted onto parents.

She made the remarks last week in an interview with Daily Monitor at Kabojja International School’s graduation function in Kampala where 83 students were passed out with Cambridge University of London certificates.
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, in her Budget speech last week, proposed new taxes on educational materials and profits from schools in a bid to broaden the tax base.

However, Prof Kigozi noted that although many private schools had become profit-oriented, their services were a relief to government schools under Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education programmes.
“Almost 60 per cent of Uganda children attain education through private schools, a duty that government must be fulfilling. Private schools are a helping hand and slapping a tax on them was not a good idea,” she said.