The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Among has directed the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry, and that of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to resolve the woes of Kampala City Traders and report back to Parliament on Tuesday, 16 April 2024.

Traders under the umbrella body, Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), have initiated a strike, resulting in the closure of the majority of shops in downtown Kampala since April 8, 2024.

Among the grievances cited by the traders is the enforcement of the Uganda Revenue Authority’s (URA) Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) system.

They argue that they were not adequately sensitized about the system and lack the necessary infrastructure to comply with its requirements.

“This is not only happening in Kampala, this must be interrogated and we must come to a solution. The Committee of Trade and Finance must do a public hearing with these traders-URA must come out, there should be certainty in collection of these taxes,” Speaker Among emphasized during a plenary session on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

The directive came after Kampala Central Division Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko, raised concerns about the frustrations faced by traders due to the EFRIS system, which has significantly impacted their businesses.

“You are talking about over 200,000 people closing their businesses and that means for every day they close business, is a shortfall in tax collection,” Nsereko lamented.

Leader of Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the importance of ensuring ease in tax remittances. He pointed out that while traders are willing to pay taxes, challenges with the EFRIS system, including the lack of adequate sensitization and infrastructure, have led to conflicts with URA.

Related!  MARK NASASIRA RUBAIHAYO: Religious Policy Pushers: A case of fools rushing in where angels fear to tread

Responding to the concerns, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi, stated that URA had indeed conducted sensitization campaigns about EFRIS.

 He mentioned that since its launch in 2019, over 20,000 traders had been sensitized. Musasizi also outlined the various options available to traders for complying with the system, including the use of a mobile application, dedicated machines, or computer installations in their shops.

In light of the ongoing strike and the significant implications for tax collection and business operations, Speaker Among’s directive underscores the urgency of finding a resolution to the challenges faced by Kampala City Traders.

The subsequent report to Parliament on April 16, 2024, will be awaited with keen interest as stakeholders seek a path forward that balances tax compliance with the practical realities confronting traders.

On Monday, a large number of traders in downtown Kampala kept their shops closed, protesting against the URA’s  EFRIS, the 18 percent VAT, and allowing foreigners to engage in similar businesses like Ugandans.

The post One Week Ultimatum: Speaker Among Demands Resolution to City Traders’ Grievances appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

​ 

0 0 votes
Article Rating