Uganda loses Shs400b in gold tax in two months

Sunday September 19 2021
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President Museveni during a tour of the African Gold Refinery in Entebbe in February 2017. PHOTO/FILE

By Arthur Arnold Wadero

Government’s decision to impose a 5 per cent tax on every kilogramme of refined gold and 10 per cent on unprocessed export of the precious mineral has seen Uganda lose Shs475.257 billion in revenue in the last two months.

Dr Albert Musisi, the commissioner of macro-economics at the ministry of Finance, who appeared before MPs on the Finance Committee on Thursday, said in July and August, government failed to extract any revenue from the lucrative gemstone.

He said this is a heavy blow to the government and strongly discourages private sector dealings in the valuable mineral.

“For the last two months, we have not made many exports. It is something to do with the new fiscal policy on minerals. We are engaging the private players to have a harmonised position on that,” Dr Musisi said.

“The players have requested the government to revise this tax downwards and negotiations are being held to this end. Pending the conclusion of these negotiations, there were no exports of gold from Uganda in the month of July,” he said.

The 10th Parliament in May approved the Mining Bill (Amended) 2021, okaying the government to impose the 5 per cent levy on every kilogramme of refined gold and 10 per cent on unprocessed gold exported.

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The revenue loss is attributed to the illegal channels through which the local traders conduct the trade. 

The State minister of Finance in charge of Planning, Mr Amos Lugoloobi, promised a remedy would be drawn by his office.

“If there are any minerals that are smuggled, that is unfortunate. It means that there is someone who is not doing his job to allow our minerals to be smuggled out of the country. We shall find a solution to this,” Mr Lugolobi assured the MPs.

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