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Archive for the tag “URA”

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for October 2019 (07.10.2019)

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OTT Tax: Totally failed its supposed revenue targets in 2018!

Today, the Uganda Communication Commission released their annual sector performance report of July 2019. It was really a bit funny look, as the state, the President and all of his handlers said the Over-The-Top Services would create a tax-base and revenue, which would benefit the state. That is why Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had set up targets to streamline these new taxes.

I will show more of the fun and explain, as the UCC report really shows how malfunction and lack of due diligence hurt. But first a previous calculation, which was stated to the media. To show how much lack of tax-base the OTT had in 2018, as it was implemented in July and keeps pushing to this date.

Look:

Daily Monitor Reports: “Government collected Shs20.5b from social media in the last quarter ended September, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority. The tax, which was implemented in July, was however, less than the Shs24.9b target that URA had hoped to collect in the period. URA has a monthly target of Shs8.3b. The tax was introduced in the Excise Duty amendments of financial year 2018/19 requiring all social media users to pay Shs200 per day, before accessing certain platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, among others. Government intends to collect about Shs100b before the end of the 2018/19 financial year” (Christine Kasemiire – ‘OTT raises Shs20b in first quarter, URA fails on targets’ 07.11.2018).

Let’s first do the math, accordingly, as the URA monthly target is 8,3bn shillings in revenue, every single month. A quarter of a Financial Year is 4 months. In today’s UCC report, it shows the numbers for the Q3 and Q4 of 2018. Which means, that states revenue from July-September and October-December in the previous years. By these standards its 8,3bn X3 to get the supposed of any given Q. That is 24,9bn shillings is estimated to earn per quarter.

However, the UCC report states that in the Q3, the revenue was 12,696,558,400 or 12,6bn shillings which is only about half of the anticipated revenue. The final quarter or Q4 isn’t much better:12,952,833,800 or 12,9bn shillings. Of the estimated earnings, the state is nearly able to gain about half of its target. The market and the consumers are not contributing or using the phones as much as they thought. What is striking if you combine the two quarters of revenue is that the state earned approximately 25,5bn shillings, which is sadly just above one quarter estimate of the URA in supposed revenue on this tax. The estimated earnings of the period would be about 49,8bn and this shows the state managed a deficit of about 24,3bn shillings. That is about on quarters earning not happening at all. Thats a giant shortfall of cash and the URA/UCC needs to explain the Ministry of Finance this one, because this a major loss of promised funding for the state.  

This shows how failed this tax is and what a waste of enforcement and making the tax in its first place. This isn’t fun and games, but a way of misusing power to tax people, just because you find something obnoxious. That is how it seems, since the President want to stop the gossip online and such. Stop spreading of information and ensure that poorest cannot afford to get online and use the OTT services. Because, that what this tax does. Peace.

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

Uganda: Press Statement – Justification of procurement of OTT services for Members of Parliament (16.05.2019)

Uganda: Anti-Corruption Unit – Request for Your Intervention in the Delayed Confirmation of Officers in Acting Capacity and Irregular Recruitment of Inspectorate Officers into the Inspectorate of Government (20.03.2019)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for April 2019 (01.04.2019)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2019 (07.02.2019)

Preparation for General Election 2020/21: When these budget posts are served extra-funds!

As we are aware and since the National Resistance Movement (NRM) dropped their Road Map for the General Election of 2020/21, the whole system has started to flair up for it. Both with Electoral Reforms and other measures, to secure swift results in favour of the President and secure his cronies. That is just the way it is.

As we will see in the Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year 2019/2020, the government and their agencies are clearly gearing up for elections. As the NRM wants to make sure the appointed and anointed get their cut ahead of scheduled elections.

The first ones whose secured and getting well funded is the Residential District Commanders, they are getting 5,5bn shillings to promote government policies. There is also estimated right before the elections, the state will go from 128 districts in 2018/19 to 135 districts in 2019/2020, there the state has to use more on them just for the need of new RDCs too.

To give RDCs possibility to do their work, the Office of the President has asked for 25.4bn shillings to buy 165 Double Cabin Pickups, but there is only small fry for what is coming up.

The State House itself is gearing up, as the Office of President has asked for an allocation of 741.1bn shillings.. Just to give a feeling of the changes of gear, is that in National Budget Framework for Financial Year 2018/19, alone, the State House got 265,342bn shillings. We can see a significant change ahead of the coming elections.

To top it off, the logistical support, welfare and security to H.E the President, Vice President require 118.38bn shillings. Therefore, the Presidency, the State House and everything concerning that is much more expensive in Election Times and ahead of campaigns. As proven by the Report delivered to the Parliament.

This are just small pieces of what the Committee and what Jesca Ababiku MP delivered the Parliament, as requested to secure funding and also more funds to certain aspects. As it is fitting the elections and the timing for more cash to certain places. We saw it before the General Election in 2016 and is seeing it now. Repeating itself, getting budget for cars and more expenses paid. More funding to the State House and President. Just as programmed. To think otherwise is to be blind to what is up.

This is just what they do, not building institutions or such, but buying to time to linger in Office. Peace.

Reference:

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS ON THE BUDGET FRAMEWORIT FOR F’Y 2OL9/12O – 2023/2024, Parliament of Uganda, January 2019

The 200 Shillings of Doom: Tumwebaze mixed messages concerning the Social Media Tax!

We knew that the statements of 2018, as the loyal ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze hadn’t done his due diligence, as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) issued a Social Media Tax last year after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance asking for the opportunity to tax this.

That has no been done over the last few months, but as the realization of the effects are coming. The forewarning of CSBAG and others wasn’t listen to. I wrote that it lacked due diligence of the tax in June 2018 and today. As I open Daily Monitor and seeing that Frankie Boy has changed his ways. He has opened his eyes and seeing what some of us saw all along. As the cost of content, the cost of using social media and that this has ensured that it is less viable. Since, its the elites who can use it, but the lower level civil servants cannot afford to be online. That was natural, that the 200 shillings per day would be taken directly of the plate and also evaporate funds for investment within the Republic. It is a negative tax, and therefore, naturally have reverse effect, than what the state promised when they levied it.

Tumwebaze statement in July 2018:

When Ministry of Finance is borrowing, we, the Parliament and civil society are grilling them for borrowing. But when we say this is a sector that has grown in the economy so let’s get a bit of it, let’s get Shs. 6,000 from every holder of a smartphone consuming OTTs, what production capacity will it stifle?” (…) “Is USD 1,4 too much for a citizen to contribute to tax yet you have money to buy a smartphone, minimumly at Shs. 300,000 that is data enabled, and you load bundles of over shs. 30,000? Logically it doesn’t make sense” (Frank Tumwebaze, 17.07.2018).

Tumwebaze statemetn in January 2019:

The committee chaired by Annet Nyakecho said Over The Top tax seems to negatively affect the consumption of ICT services and products. In response, ICT Minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze admitted that the tax is has had adverse effects on the sector. He said they were “hoodwinked” by their counterparts in the Finance Ministry that the introduction of the tax on the basis that it would widen the country’s revenue base” (Ssebuliba, 2019).

ICT Minister Tumwebaze was so positive and thinking this was the future. This was how to widen the tax-base, but instead. It has as expected made the usage of Social Media expensive. Which means also there is lack of funds for the ones operating within the Social Media and making Online Businesses. This is both happening because of the hard hitting taxes on Social Media, but also the Mobile Money Tax. Both taxes has both the Mobile Money Industry and the ICT development, as they are both having less activity and less usage. Which is natural, when the costs are going up.

The ICT Minister should have known this before speaking so warm about it. Any tax are taking money out of the system. The 200 shillings of doom is clear. The state could have listen to the advice, but didn’t open the ears to it.

In June 30 2018, Daily Monitor reported this: “Civil society organisations have accused the government of trying to stifle debate online with this tax, while others like the Civil society Budget Advocacy group CSBAG, say the tax will have a negative impact on a business.” (Hinamundi, 2018).

So, if the ICT Minister Tumwebaze could have known and stopped this. They could have done the right thing and not continued this path. Instead they have hurt the industry, because they are all blindly following the orders of the President. That is what the state did and they levied the 200 shillings of doom, as it was anticipated by anyone else. Than, the authorities itself. Peace.

Reference:

Samuel Ssebuliba – ‘Parliament orders assessment on impact of social media tax’ 18.01.2019, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Parliament-orders-assessment-impact-social-media-tax/688334-4940312-rph8g3z/index.html

Collins Hinamundi – ‘How government will collect the new social media tax’ 30.07.2018, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/How-government-will-collect-new-social-media-tax/688334-4639596-juy8n3z/index.html

AG Byaruhanga tries to make a bribe into a donation: Per President Order!

Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.”Marcus Aurelius

Today, Attorney General William Byaruhanga delivered his Interim Report on the indictment and the criminal charges of Patrick Ho in connection with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. This has been known now and if these was just mere charges, than the Chinese National wouldn’t get charged and sentenced in a United States Court.

This is because the Chinese National offered a bribe of 500,000 USD each for a possible Oil Deal for a Chinese Company in Uganda. Therefore, the Chinese National made it possible for the high-ranking officials in the Ugandan government to solicit half-a-million United States Dollars for it. That is why we are here today. This was signed off as a Campaign contribution, but by that time, the President had already been re-elected in 2016. We know this, but has to say all this before I quote the Interim Report. What is special about the case too, is that the government will claim the Foundation owned by Kuteesa, but has anyone seen it outside of a paper and a registered entity outside of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), which it was in 2015. That is why today is special, because a ghost entity got good money for a possible business transaction… that would favorable for the repentance, which happens to the Minister and President.

What is also important to state, which is already white-washed in the interim report, is the delivery of the bribe. That went through customs, which was mailed between the Chinese National and the Minister. Who both combined their efforts to send the money and deliver it in cash, in secrecy, as it was intended to a favorable transaction. Not something that was supposed to end up in Court Documents in the United States and incriminate one, while implicating the high-ranking officials in Uganda.

With that in mind.

The quote:

The Foundation received a sum of US$ 499,993 on 9’h May 2016 from a Hong Kong-based NGO known as China Energy Fund Committee. The money was a donation to the Food Security and Energy Sustainability Foundation which Hon. Kutes a and his wife started as a vehicle for enabling Hon. Kutesa to continue to champion some of the causes he had spearheaded during his tenure as the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations with respect to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals”.

While that quote is special and says a lot, it does trying to clear the implicated Minister in the Corruption Scandal that has rocked the man. That the Auditor General did this on direct order from the President. This was to ensure the President and his ally Kuteesa got off the hook. That is why the Foundation and the “donation” we’re the Chinese National had reasons to give there. Like we are naive.

The Foundation is just based on paper. There are no proof of their work or whatever their supposed to do. Certainly, they are servicing some special and unique unicorns, sorry, ghosts. Because, this money came by plane from the United States to Entebbe International Airport, as it entered the Customs as warned to the parties involved.

So, I have a hard time believing the AG in this matter, as he is trying to figure out a way to clear he Minister of his implication, per order as a loyal subject of the President. Who also got money in the transaction done by the Chinese National. They all know this.

Time for the AG get his act together, unless he is a blind soldier for the President. Peace.

Reference:

Interim Report of the Auditor General on Allegations of Bribery against Hon. Sam Kuteesa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Connection with the Trial of One, Mr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho, A Chinese National, In the United States

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