July 7, 2020
July 7, 2020

Auditor General calls on NSSF and URA to resolve Shs84B tax dispute



At the heart of the stand off is legal interpretation of the laws on both sides which has led to arbitration which has not yet bore fruit.

The Auditor General James Muwanga, is asking the National Social Security Fund NSSF, to expedite the resolution of an impasse with the URA arising from a Shs84Billion tax arrears claim.

At the heart of the stand off is legal interpretation of the laws on both sides which has led to arbitration which has not yet bore fruit.

When I joined Nssf, it had 88bn sitting on current accounts and it was not making any profits.

NSSF was investing in treasury bills per annum and was only earning 8%. We started long term investments and interests rose to 15%

We started investing in company shares and what we looked out for were Company Products, Cash flow and Character of management.

Byarugaba: You cannot be sure of companies, but you must carry out due diligence on the company.

Byarugaba: when you invest in shares, you get annual dividends from profits and capital gains from share sales.

Byarugaba: Capital Gains is a theoretical gain. It only becomes actual the day you sell it to another person.

We have never sold shares because of the ministerial policy that does not allow fund managers to sell stock.

Byarugaba: we wrote a series of letters requesting the minister to give a limit within which to sell, but she did not accept.

Byarugaba: this is why I believe the minister should only play an oversight role but not the day to day running of NSSF.

Today in Parliament : Parliament is considering the committee report on infrastructure.

Mp Amuriat :We are asking the minister for the list of names of companies ;people that bought land in the albertine region in the last 10yrs.

Mp Amuriat : There is a problem of road signs in Uganda ,for many of the roads don’t have signs.

Mp Mugume: The minister Byandaala should make a statement on the allegations in the media in regard to Katosi road.

Hon Amuriat :The cost of construction of roads in Uganda is very high , what is govrt’s alternative policy to this.

Minister Byandaala: Its true that the road construction is expensive compared to other countries but we have now increased the competition.

Minister for lands: We are trying to resolve the issues in migingo island.

Minister lands : We have had incidents where we send surveyors and they are chased away with spears etc.

Parliament has adopted the committee report on infrastructure.

I introduced an open-door policy & dealt with the issue of insubordination. Difference in opinions didn’t stop us from progressing.

Byarugaba: NSSF was taking 105 days to pay members, but when I joined, we reduced to 10 days.

Byarugaba: The biggest job of NSSF is fund management. We pay millions to people, who have to build models for sector allocations.

Byarugaba: There is no reason why Companies should not do business if there is a conflict of interest.

However, the individuals with interests should declare those interests and recuse themselves from the matter in contention.

Plenary session has resumed with the discussion on the report on tourism.

The committee observed that ministry of Trade has been misinforming the public that the Anti counterfeit bill is before parliament.

The committee recommends that the construction of the Soroti fruit factory be expedited so we don’t lose money.

Committee recommends that govrt sets aside a revolving fund to help traders who lost their properties to revamp their business in S Sudan.

The committee recommends that govrt supports and protects Ugandan traders in South Sudan.

Committee recommends that govrt allocates funds to facilitate the deployment of commercial attaches in missions abroad.

The committee recommends that the policy on standards on local goods is reviewed to make the standards compulsory.

The committee recommends that the ban on recruitment on UNBS be lifted to enable it recruit staff.

The committee recommends that URA links UNBS into the system so that they are able to carry out their duties.

The committee notes that govrt is providing shs 2bn annually towards the construction of the UNBS home that started in April 2012.

The committee recommends that Govrt should frontload shs12bn for the completion of the UNBS home.

Committee noted that most of the weighing scales used by most traders in Uganda are tampered with; cheating customers.

The Uganda National Bureau of standards informed the committee that hansom scales can easily be tampered with.

The current law on Weights and measures (1963)that is applied is not stringent since culprits are charged shs3000 as penalty.

Committee recommends that govrt amends existing law on Weights and measures inorder to deter traders from cheating public.

The committee noted that pre – verification on conformity on goods destined for Uganda is a necessary evil.

The committee observed a 16% decline in holiday visitor arrivals in the Uganda compared to other EAC countries.

The committee recommends that govrt revives Uganda Airlines as the national carrier.

The Uganda Tourism Board budget is also expected to increase from 1.403bn to shs.6.403bn in FY 2014/15.

Mp Lukyamuzi :Ministry of tourism hasn’t paid attention to the pouching of the Uganda Crane.

Minister for Trade: The ministry is working on a proposal to come up with the cooperative bank.

Minister for Tourism: Human beings are competing for space with animals due to population growth; people should consider family planing.

Parliament has adopted the Tourism ; Trade and industry committee report on ministerial policy statement and Budget estimates for FY2014/15.

Next is presentation,adoption of report on motion for resolution of parliament seeking authority to borrow USHS.675bn from Domestic Market.

Following the under performance of the URA in FY 2013/14 govrt borrowed USHS.675bn from the domestic market without parliament approval.

Whereas the URA revenue shortfalls for 2012/14 was Ushs475bn govrt borrowed over and above by 200bn.

Speaker Oulanyah: Can parliament rectify this problem after govrt has already borrowed and spent the money without parliament approval?

The motion seeks for authorisation of parliament under Article 159 of the constitution.

The committee recommends that govrt should in future strictly adhere to the provisions of the law in relation to borrowing.

Hon Kwizera: The issue of govrt breaking laws and expecting parliament to clean up its mess shuld be stopped.

MP Kwizera: We should refer this report to the Committee On Legal to advise us on how parliament should handle this.

Speaker Oulanyah: Finance spent the money without asking for the legal opinion or parliamentary opinion.

Speaker Oulanyah: The question we are asking is can parliament approve the loan retrospectively?

Speaker Oulanyah: In my opinion there is no law prohibiting parliament from approving the already spent money.

Speaker Oulanyah: Two issues that happened; the issue of borrowing and also expenditure without parliament approval.

PM Amama: We can continue with the process of approving the supplementary appropriation bill then deal with this later.

Speaker has ruled asking members of parliament to take more time to analyse the issue of govrt borrowing without parliament approval.

House has been adjourned to tomorrow at 10am.

Source: Parliament Watch

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