URA Commissioner General Doris Akol says the numerous public holidays in the country significantly affected revenue estimates and collections for the financial year 2015/2016. During the year, Uganda Revenue Authority collected 11.6 trillion Shillings against an estimate of 11.23 trillion Shillings.
The lowest performance in tax collection was recorded in the period preceding, during and after, the 2016 general election especially in February 2016.
The period between to January to June 2016 alone had over 10 public holidays which include among others Liberation Day (January 26), Remembrance of Archbishop Janani Luwum (February 16), Election Day (February 18), Local Council Election Day (February 24), International Women’s Day (March 8) and National Heroes Day (June 9). May 12, was also declared a public holiday in recognition of the swearing in ceremony of the president.
A revenue performance report released today indicates that the tax body registered a shortfall of 108 billion Shillings in January, 123 billion Shillings in February and 110 billion Shillings in May, 2016.
Akol attributes the trend to the unstable political environment and uncertainty in the business environment.
Major declines in revenue collections were recorded in the manufacturing sector. It has a decline of 64.29 percent, followed by the finance and insurance sector that recorded a 27 percent decline during the same period. The information and communication sector also had a 10 percent decline while the public administration and defense sector had a decline of 2 percent.
The wholesale and retail sector registered posted a positive growth although, according to Akol, it was insignificant at only 1 percent.
However, despite the economic and political conditions, the tax body registered a 15.6 percent growth rate compared to the regional growth average of 14.11 percent during the period from July to June 2016.