Civil Society Organisations have called for a review in the way revenue mobilised is managed to ensure a wider tax base from local economies to complement financing of the newly created administration units in Uganda.
During a CSO Pre-budget dialogue held at NWSC Resource centre in Bugolobi from 28th to 29th January 2020, CSOs raised various strategies to build capacity to increase the revenue base through creating viable economic local units.
The dialogue was organised by CSBAG, ACODE, FRA, DGF, SEATINI among others.
According to Richard Ssewakiryanga, the Executive Director of Uganda National NGO forum, it’s high time government thought of turning the existing administration units into viable economic units so as to raise higher revenue and contribute to the revenue base at local levels.
He said that if the newly created units are not productive, they can be merged as economic units to benefit from the larger economies of scale.
“Not everyone need a politician near to receive service from local government; we need to create viable economic units to ensure that local government can generate revenue to service the local community. Small units can be merged for bigger impact,” he said.
Johnson Gimisirza from Local Government Finance Commission told the participants that as proposed strategies, government is planning to create a new policy to review management of local government revenue to distribute roles of revenue mobilisation.
He said this is aimed at improving the way revenue is collected at local government, automation of finance processes and revenue legislation.
“The contributors of local government including professionals, business people, farmers and others need to be empowered to create economic development base through partnership with local governments,” he said.
Dunstan Balaba, CAO Tororo district said that though there are very many benefits from decentralisation, there are additional costs associated with financing the local units.
The objectives of the CSO Pre-budget dialogue included sharing the CSO perspective and inputs into the FY2020/21 budget intended to improve on the citizens welfare like the marginalised population, interrogating, and understanding revenue and expenditure measures for FY2019/20 and it’s implication on the lives of the public.
By Drake Nyamugabwa