All government agencies including ministries, semi-autonomous institutions like Universities and related agencies like Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and others will effective next financial year 2019/2020 stop collecting and spending their own revenue but rather wait for releases from the consolidated fund.
This was revealed by the Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance Kenneth Mugambe while speaking at the 21st Makerere University Economic Forum that was held at Serena Hotel. The Forum was held to discuss the forthcoming Budget under the theme; Budgeting for Economic Transformation and Social Inclusion.
According to Mugambe, the move is meant to increase efficiency of the agencies so that they focus on their core mandate and leave the revenue collecting responsibilities to URA, which government claims has the capacity and know-how for the purpose.
The revelation has however already triggered debate with many doubting the real intentions of the move, especially give the country’s debt situation.
Ramathan Ggoobi, the coordinator of the MUBS Economic Forum expressed scepticism about the proposal noting that the government faces a major challenge of lack of trust.
“While the policy might be good, the government faces a major challenge of trust. The people do not trust it to remit the money but also the government does not trust the people. Secondly, one wonders who will enforce compliance? Universities had their ways of negotiating with parents, will URA accommodate them?”
The news comes hot on the heals of a report that was presented by officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) indicating that majority of government agencies reported making losses in recent years. Some of these include National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), NSSF among others.