Female legislators under their umbrella association Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association (Uwopa) have vowed to take all measures to see that the proposed taxes by government on agricultural inputs do not come into force.
“We have already scheduled meetings with URA, the minister of Finance, the committee of Finance in Parliament and we shall seek audience of the Speaker and the President to see that these taxes that hurt the poor especially women and children are not passed,” said Uwopa chairperson Betty Amongi.
She was speaking during a meeting between Uwopa and Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) members organised by Forum for Women in Democracy (Fowode) under the theme “Gender Responsive Budgeting Delivers Gender Equality” at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala
In the 2014/15 budget speech, the Minister of Finance, Maria Kiwanuka removed all tax exemptions for agriculture chain inputs and imposed an 18 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT). Amongi said things like hoes, pesticides, seeds, wheel barrows, milk cans, packaging material will not only increase prices of agricultural produce but will also hurt the development of commercial agriculture.
“As Members of Parliament, we have analysed the budget and our thinking is that it will drive farmers away from commercial agriculture. The taxes are too many and they are taxing the inputs and the outputs,” Ms Amongi said.
The legislators through their resolution instead urged government to reduce on its administration costs to foot the expected revenue from the taxes.