Kampala. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has registered a revenue surplus, collecting more than Shs300b above its Shs16.3 trillion target for the 2018/19 financial year.
Last month, URA had expressed optimism it would hit its targets with Ms Doris Akol, the commissioner general, saying that although they had not collected about 10 per cent (Shs1.6 trillion) of the required revenue they were on track and different measures had been put in place to ensure that targets are hit.
URA opened the first quarter of the financial year with a surplus of Shs349.3b, which meant that it had cut its collection target to about Shs7.2 trillion.
Speaking during a day-two services excellence exhibition organised by URA, Mr Siraji Kanyesigye, the URA assistant commissioner in charges of large tax payers, said the tax collection figures were above targets by more than Shs300b.
“As we speak, we are having a surplus of well over Shs300b and this month’s (of June) projection is looking really good,” he said, adding: “We will meet our targets and we are hoping to even surpass it.”
Uganda Revenue Authority is at the centre of mobilising revenues to increase the resource envelope.
Approximately 48.7 per cent of the national budget for the 2018/2019 financial is funded by revenue collected domestically.
The surplus, according to Mr Moses Kaggwa, the Finance ministry director economic affairs, means that the tax to GDP ratio will increase from the current 14.3 per cent to 15 per cent before the close of the year.
Government is seeking to raise Uganda’s tax to GDP ratio to about or above 16 per cent in the 2019/20 financial year.
In the 2019/20 financial year, URA will be expected to mobilise Shs18.3 trillion domestically to fund the budget.
However, Mr Siragi Magara Luyima,a budget policy specialist at Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, warned yesterday that domestic tax contribution has been going down, dropping from 75 to 74 per cent in the 2018/19 financial year.
This, he said, explains the rising debt levels, which currently stand at Shs42 trillion.
Uganda’s debt levels, according to International Monetary Fund, are expected to rise to about 50.7 per cent by the 2021/22 financial year, which could present risks of slowed growth to the economy.
To mitigate rising debt levels, IMF has previously said, Uganda must grow its domestic revenue levels to about or 16 per cent GDP to tax ratio.
Growth in 2019/20 budget
The 2019/20 budget has risen from Shs32 trillion to Shs42 trillion of this Shs18.3 trillion is expected to be collected by URA.
The budget, just like the 2018/19 financial year, has been dominated by expenditure on debt servicing, security and infrastructure, among others.