The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has laid out a number of steps which it says will resurrect Uganda’s economy after COVID-19.
PSFU says it has held discussions with government through the Ministry of Finance and that they have proposed the following interventions for government’s consideration.
The following is a statement with demands by private sector leaders.
The journey towards resuscitating the economy of Uganda
As we continue to support all initiatives being outlined by both Government and the donor community in a bid to protect Ugandans from the effects of this pandemic, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has had discussions with various partners to devise measures on how the economy can be revived.
The foundation has held numerous meetings with government, through Ministry of Finance and the following intervention areas were proposed for Government consideration;
1. Pay all domestic arrears to increase liquidity in the economy
2. Domestic Tax:
a). Deferment of Payroll Tax payments to ease business cash flows for the next 6 months
b) Payment of Outstanding VAT refunds
c) Proposal of Turnover-tax in the current budget proposal should be postponed to next FY (21/22).
d) Tax on rental properties be frozen for six months effective April 2020 and no taxes should be increased on rental properties
e) Lower taxes on products produced with locally sourced raw materials.
For example, excise duty on fruit juices
a). Restructure Uganda
Development Bank (UDB) to manage the new development bank dynamics
b) Capitalise UDB so that they can effectively support the financing requirements of Ugandan entities.
c) UDB should aggressively support the Value chains (Upstream & Downstream)
d) Support the tourism sector with a line of financing through UDB
e) Improve on the Administration of the Agriculture Credit Fund
f) Recapitalize and procure more cargo aircraft for Uganda Air Cargo to ensure foreign market expansion.
It is important that 50% of the Board positions are occupied by the private sector.
a) Promote Producer groups & cooperatives and an efficient Warehouse Receipt System to ensure food security.
b) Support incubation to ensure value addition for both domestic and export markets
c) Enhance the Buy Uganda-Build Uganda initiative (BUBU)in order to insure import substitution and make the young population will find it attractive to go into manufacturing and value addition.
Following consensus that has beenforged with government and the short term interventions drawn to support recovery, we are now organising an e-conference intended to reach as many Ugandans to discuss and agree on measures that can be taken in the medium to long term to get Uganda better prepared for similar crises in the future.
As representatives of the business community, we thank and pledge to work with all development partners and government in ensuring that these recommendations come to pass.
This will give a lot more confidence in Uganda’s economy for further investments and we look forward to working with all on developing a “post COVID 19 recovery and growth strategy”.
We continue to thank our Government especially Ministry of Health for a great job that has been done in curbing the virus.
Hon. Elly Karuhanga