The Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development has asked Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to present reports on the performance of all loans in last financial year 2018/2019.
The request was made on Tuesday when Kasaija and his team appeared before the committee to present a brief report to the Parliament on the Annual Macro-Economic & Fiscal Performance Report 2017/18, where he said the economy grew at 6.1 per cent in 2017/18 higher than 3.9 per cent in 2016/17.
However, despite the fact that the economy was performing well, this did not stop the committee chairman, also Rubanda East Member of Parliament, Henry Musasizi from asking him why the government is continuously borrowing money which is increasing the national debt burden.
“Why are you still borrowing money, do you consider the threshold for borrowing?” asked Musasizi.
Kasaija responded that the money borrowed is to develop infrastructures which are very crucial in an economy especially at the level of takeoff.
“We borrow money to make improvements in electricity, roads, in education. Right now Uganda has relatively literate citizens. So our economy is set to move forward despite the shortcomings, the economy is at takeoff. We are still below the line above which we cannot borrow anymore,” answered Kasaija.
The committee also asked him to find out why some government agencies do not provide reports to Parliament on some grants they receive from the external donors.
The minister accepted to present all reports required if the committee could give him time.
Kasaija also informed the committee that there is much tax avoidance especially Value Added Tax (VAT) which has reduced tax collections. To stop this, he informed them that government is to introduce a Tax Digital Stamp policy. This means that all products will have to get this digital stamp from URA to be allowed on the market.
Currently, according to Uganda’s indebtedness status report, the domestic and external debt burden is Shs41.3 trillion where domestic alone is Shs13.3 trillion while external Shs27.3 trillion.