(Xinhua) -- Uganda’s tax body on
Friday said it had registered 46.6 percent of its targeted
revenue collection in the first half of this financial year
2017/18, and is on course to achieve the annual target.
Doris Akol, Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority
(URA), said that as 2017 closes, they have collected 7 trillion
shillings (196 million U.S. dollars) out of the 15 trillion
shillings they targeted to collect before the close of the
financial year in June 2018.
The tax body is hopeful the trade and services sectors will
yield more windfalls in the last half of the year, to enable it
to increase collections.
According to the World Bank, Uganda’s economic outlook for
the financial year 2017/18 is positive, with real GDP growth
expected to reach 5 percent.
Akol said the prediction based on infrastructure investments,
good weather and macroeconomic stability, gives hope to the
taxman that the remaining 53 percent of the target can be
"When the economy comes back up and we see growth, it
translates into profitability for our clients and improved tax
collections for us. This gives us hope that we shall close the
year in a very healthy position," she said.
She said although the collections were briefly affected by
the election in neighboring Kenya, they (collections) have now
bounced back and are expected to further stabilize in 2018.
Akol said the first half of the financial year, which ends
this month, a number of sectors slowed down while others
improved compared to the previous years.
She said manufacturing was one of the sectors that
experienced a slowdown, with volumes of products coming off the
production lines thinning, which affected excise duty and Value
Added Tax collections.
She said the slowdown in manufacturing is a direct reflection
of the reduction in aggregate demand, adding however, that 2018
is expected to yield better results.
"The other sectors that experienced a slowdown include the
wholesale and retail, financial services, and telecoms sectors,"
Vincent Seruma, the URA spokesperson, said the slowdown in
the financial services sector is greatly affecting the
performance of banks, and consequently revenue collection.
Bank of Uganda, the country’s central bank, has steadily
lowered its Central Bank Rate from 17 percent in February 2016
to 10 percent as at the close of 2017.
This expansionary monetary policy stance was aimed at
boosting economic growth in view of declining inflationary
As a result, average commercial bank lending rates also
declined from 25.2 percent in February 2016 to 18 percent as at
the close of 2017. However credit uptake has not yet picked to a
desired level, according to Seruma.
He said telecoms have noticeably slowed down because of the
change in the way people use telecom services, and the taxman is
looking at it to study new policy mechanisms to boost the
On a positive note, Akol said the real estate, transport,
information, communication technology and construction sectors
continue to do well, with trade making tremendous improvements
compared to a few months ago.
"In the 2018 calendar year, we hope to roll out some more
digitization initiatives such as the billing machines for tax
stamping as well as for VAT declarations," she said.