PARLIAMENT, UGANDA: The State Minister for Finance, Hon. David Bahati has assured Ugandans that no taxes can be imposed without the approval of Parliament.
Bahati made this assurance while responding to a matter was raised by the Kassanda North MP, Hon. Patrick Oshabe that there was a plan to impose excise duty on agency banking and ATM cash withdrawals.
This was at a sitting of Parliament chaired by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday, 11 February 2021.
Oshabe said that a letter from the Ministry of Finance to the Governor, Bank of Uganda seeking guidance on the same has been widely circulated on social media.
“The Minister of Finance should come and clarify the matters that are going on. Why should the government be planning to raise revenue on already taxed money?” Oshabe asked.
Bahati said that the letter was authored by the Deputy Secretary to the Treasurer inviting the Governor of the Central Bank to consult on an internal engagement with the Finance Ministry.
“In line with the Rules of Procedure of this House, I do request that we focus on something that is before the House and is a proposal by Law. If this House is going to be discussing internal memos between government agencies, it will be a tough one,” he said.
He added that the internal memo that leaked was consulting the Central Bank. It was not a proposal by law and it was not to the House and has no bearing to the House.
Kasilo County Member of Parliament, Hon. Elijah Okupa said that it was not an internal memo but a letter written to the Governor, Bank of Uganda.
“It’s unfair that government is thinking of such action especially when the country is recovering from Covid-19. The Minister should be stopped before the taxes take shape,” he said.
The Speaker directed the Finance Minister to present proposals for taxation to the House.
“You should bring the proposals for taxation here. We should have an undertaking that you will not implement this without our authority,” she added.