News & Up­dates:

Dur­ing the ple­nary sit­ting on the 30th April 2019 which was chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ja­cob Oulanyah, mem­bers passed the three out of the five tax bills which were read. Those which were passed were: the Stamp Duty Amend­ment bill, 2019 which pro­vides for a uni­form stamp duty payable on bank guar­an­tees, in­sur­ance per­for­mance bonds, in­dem­nity bonds and re­duce cap­i­tal thresh­olds for de­vel­op­ers; the Ex­cise Duty Amend­ment Bill, 2019 which em­pow­ers the Min­is­ter to make reg­u­la­tions for pre­scrib­ing the equiv­a­lent tax treat­ment of sup­plies made in the course of Is­lamic fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions and pre­scribes the in­ter­est rate payable on un­paid ex­cise duty; and the Value Added Tax Amend­ment Bill, 2019 which pro­vides the per­cent­age of the with­hold­ing tax to be re­mit­ted and pro­vides in­cen­tives to in­vestors by ex­empt­ing cer­tain sup­plies from VAT. They were all passed with amend­ments.

Par­lia­ment stood over the other two bills —The Tax Pro­ce­dures Code Amend­ment Bill, 2019 and the In­come Tax Amend­ment Bill, 2019. The for­mer in­tends to au­tho­rize Gov­ern­ment to write-off all the un­paid taxes which re­sulted from coun­ter­part fund­ing. The Speaker asked the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, Hon. David Ba­hati to pro­vide a clear list of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries on whose be­half, the Govt will pay the taxes. The In­come Tax bill was not passed fol­low­ing the mi­nor­ity re­port pre­sented by Hon. Nan­dala Mafabi high­light­ing that the bill will al­low the tax­ing of the car­ried for­ward losses made by com­pa­nies. He ar­gued that it does not qual­ify to be called an in­come tax bill and in­formed the House that if it was to be passed, it would be bet­ter if it was termed as the “ Loss Tax Bill.’’ His mi­nor­ity re­port was fol­low­ing the main Com­mit­tee Re­port by Hon. Henry Musa­sizi, the Chair­per­son Fi­nance Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment. Rt. Hon. Ja­cob Oulanyah no­ti­fied the mem­bers that the bills which were not passed will be de­bated dur­ing the next sit­ting on Thurs­day, 2 May 2019.

Dur­ing the same sit­ting, there was a brief de­bate on the Sugar Bill, 2019 which was re­turned by the Pres­i­dent. The Chief Whip of Gov­ern­ment, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa re­quested Par­lia­ment for a pe­riod of 1 month to bring back the bill af­ter its re­vi­sion.  The House also adopted the re­port by the Health Com­mit­tee on the Min­is­te­r­ial Pol­icy State­ment and Bud­get Es­ti­mates for the Health Sec­tor in the FY 2019/​2020. The pro­posed Sec­tor al­lo­ca­tions go up to 2.53 tril­lion Uganda Shillings.