MPs dismiss URA’s request for Shs35b to construct tax academy for staff

URA Commissioner General , Mr John R Musinguzi and other members of the tax collector's management executive team accompanied the Minister of State for General Duties in the ministry of Finance, Mr Henry Musasizi as he appeared before the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development to detail URA performance, priorities and challenges on January 21, 2022.

The Parliamentary committee on finance has dismissed Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)’s request for Shs35.302 billion to construct a tax academy for further training of its staff members. 

Legislators on the committee opposed the request and advised the tax collector to instead focus energies and scale efforts on efficiently delivering on its mandate. 

The money is, among others meant to finance the purchase of land on which the academy would be erected as revealed by the URA Commissioner General, Mr John Musinguzi.

“The tax academy is a very important vision because it is the only way to impart skills in our staff 24/7 to collect taxes better,” Mr Musinguzi said. 

In response to Mr Musinguzi’s statement, Napak Woman MP, Ms Faith Nakut told URA to instead save taxpayers’ money by collaborating with educational institutions in place to conduct the trainings.

 “Do you want to open an institute? Isn’t ICPA enough? Doesn’t ICPA train tax experts? Previously, you have trained a number of staff but you haven’t deployed them. Actually, those who benefitted from that training and haven’t received employment are the ones helping multi-nationals on tax avoidance and tax planning,” Ms Nakut said.

 In a rejoinder, the shadow minister for Finance, Mr Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi advised URA to create a working relationship with some universities and the Uganda Management Institute (UMI) to equip URA with the requisite trainings and refresher courses deemed vital in execution of their work.

“Why don’t you combine and collaborate with Uganda Management Institute instead of us giving you money for a training institute? You will get better so that you concentrate on what you do better. We have so many universities, you can collaborate with some of them. Do you really need to have a training institute?” Mr Kivumbi wondered.

In its 2022/2023 budget framework presented to Parliament, the URA has already indicated that at least Shs205.4 billion will be splashed on salaries of its current staff alone. Already, the tax body is undertaking the recruitment process of hiring another 600 staff to enhance performance of their duties at the URA.


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