SEATINI-Uganda has called on Parliament to ensure that funding to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) for the FY2018/19 is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) II in order to realize the Budget theme and vision 20140.
Presenting their position paper on MTIC ministerial policy statement for the financial year 2018/19, to the Parliamentary committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry, SEATINI noted that MTIC is important in establishing backward and forward linkages between manufacturing and agriculture, creating employment and wealth, tackling the ever increasing Trade deficit (currently at USD 238.80 Million), addressing the ever increasing indebtedness (projected at US$ 10.74 Billion for the FY 2018/19), advancing technology, stimulating agricultural production and productivity, and export competitiveness and ultimately improving people’s livelihoods. In order to address these challenges, to 0.5% of the 29.274 Trillion UGX Budget for the FY 2018/19 which has been allocated to the ministry is inadequate.
In order to develop appropriate and enabling trade and trade related policies and regulatory frameworks while ensuring their effective implementation, in order to increase on her exports bill and address standards while supporting domestic industrialization, and local economic development through District Commercial Officers, SEATINI made the following recommendations to the Parliamentary Committee:
Members of Parliament Respond:
Led by Hon. Alex Ruhunda, the Chairperson of the Committee, SEATINI-Uganda was commended for the continued good work of building the capacity of Members of Parliament on understanding the dynamics and implications of Trade Policies and Negotiations on development, through research and advocacy. They also reiterated on the need to ensure adequate funding to the Ministry of Trade in order to ensure that increased intra-regional trade and markets being negotiated at regional, sub-regional, continental and global levels are fully put to use through increased value added exports and services.
The committee assured SEATINI that like it was done for the Budget Framework Paper for FY2018/19 where majority of the proposals were taken onboard, efforts will be undertaken to consider that the positions in the Ministerial Policy Statement for the MTIC are considered.
NA members of Nampumpum Sub-county in Kotido District during the monitoring visit.
SEATINI Uganda with support from OXFAM organized monitoring visits to assess TOTs advocacy campaign work in West Nile (Arua & Koboko), Acholi (Pader & Agago) and Teso (Soroti, Serere & Kotido) regions. This was done alongside other partners who included; Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), AFIC, CEFORD, PAC, WORUDET and CEWIT under the Financing for Development Project. The project envisions an efficient public finance system in Uganda that promotes fiscal measures for enhanced inclusive growth and active participation of citizens.
The visits aimed at assessing the collaboration under the financing for development project at national and subnational level, analyze the work done by Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) since the past engagements under the F4D organized by CEWIT in 2016 & SEATINI in 2017 and finally review the work of the Neighborhood Assemblies located in their respective regions.
During the visits, it was observed that gaps still exist between the policy makers and citizens on issues pertaining the tax policy and practices. It is therefore imperative that citizens, policy makers, civil society, academia and government technocrats come together to strategize on developing more progressive tax policies for the country. World over, capacity building has been an integral part of advocacy and policy influence. Through this project, a number of interventions have taken place since its inception in 2016 using different approaches and strategies.
The Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) is a diagnostic assessment tool for tax administration developed under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The tool was deliberately modeled on the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability framework as a revenue counterpart under Public Financial Management assessments along with providing a more comprehensive view of the whole fiscal picture. It is an integrated monitoring framework that measures performance of a country’s tax administration at a point in time and also designed to provide objective and consistent assessments of the outcome performance across the essential tax administration functions. The tool addresses questions of “what” and “why” with respect to performance. The assessment report (the output) was expected to have significant input into the reform objectives, and design, sequencing and prioritization of technical assistance.
The TADAT initiative is part of a wider agenda of the international community to help countries strengthen their tax systems to better mobilize the domestic revenue they need to provide essential goods and services to their citizens in a sustainable and economically sound way. All countries at all income levels and at all stages of development face an ongoing challenge to deliver the highest quality tax administration services to meet the needs and expectations of government, taxpayers of many types, and the wider community. Governments face fiscal pressures, businesses demand even handedness and higher service standards with ways of interacting with the tax administration as modern as those found in the best areas of the private sector, and the public demand accountability and transparency from the tax administration which has extensive reach into the community.
This report presents findings of a study commissioned by SEATINI Uganda to critically analyse the applicability of the TADAT framework and its effectiveness in improving tax administration outcomes in Uganda. The study focused on government responses aimed at improving Uganda’s performance on the TADAT outcome areas based on the findings of the 2015 assessment, as well as Uganda’s strength and weaknesses in the implementation of the TADAT.
Below are some recommendations suggested during the meeting;