Parliament sets rules for Steel tax evasion probe
Parliament today announced six grounds that will be used by the Committee on Finance Planning and Economic Development in probing alleged cases of tax evasion by steel companies in the country.
The terms issued by Mr Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament follow a motion on Wednesday by Bukooli County North MP, Gaster Kyawa Mugoya, for the House to investigate serious allegations of tax evasion in the steels sector.
The six grounds include, “investigating the allegations that companies in the skills sector in Uganda evade taxes and establish any tax revenues lost, examine the adequacy of the applicable law and regulations and establish the adequacy of tax procedures and process on the steel sector in Uganda,” as announced by Mr Oulanyah.
The Deputy Speaker added that the committee chaired by Mr.Henry Musasizi (NRM-Rubanda County East) will also, “investigate the operation of the companies in the steel sector to ascertain compliance with the tax obligations and other laws, establish weather companies in the steel sector import finished products disguised as raw materials, make accurate declaration of their transactions to URA, properly invoice sales, exports and imports.”
The committee is further charged with examining the conduct of URA and any other government agency connected to the steel industry to ascertain whether they have fulfilled their mandate in so fas
the steels sector is concerned, and also examine any other matter incidental to and person to the above and make recommendations for the optimisation of cash revenue in the steels sector.
William Nzoghu (FDC-Busongora North) failed to convince the speaker to include other companies suspected to evade taxes.
“There are also other companies evading taxes and given the opportunity, it would be appropriate to include those other companies so that the committee can do the work comprehensively,” Nzoghu.
However, the Deputy Speaker declined, saying that the matter was already at the hansard and extending it to other sectors would drag the committee’s business.
“If we enlarge this beyond what has been presented and is already in the record of parliament, the committee may need a lot of time that might affect its mandatory obligations,” he said.
Mr Jacob Oboth Oboth (NRM-West Budama County South) supported Mr.Oulanyah’s ruling before the House adopted the terms of reference.
The House also declined to adopt proposals by Mr Kenneth Lubogo (NRM-Bulamogi County) to incorporate members from the Committee of Trade, Tourism and Industry as ex-officials to help the committee of Finance Planning and Economic Development.