Gov’t Shifts Focus to Gold Exports as Revenue Shortfall Bites

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The Government of Uganda is planning to impose levies on unprocessed and processed gold exports as a way of overturning a Shs 2.5 Trillion revenue shortfall in the 2020/21 Financial Year (FY).

This development was announced by the State Minister for Finance David Bahati during an interaction with Parliament’s Finance Committee on Wednesday April 7, 2021.

“There shall be a levy or a charge on unprocessed gold at the rate of USD 200 per kilogram which is exported out of Uganda. The key levy referred to in subsection one is expected to be paid to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) by the exporter at the time when the processed gold is exported out of Uganda,” said Bahati.

“They shall be charged a levy on unprocessed minerals at a rate of 1% of the value of unprocessed minerals which are exported out of Uganda. The levy referred to in subsection one shall be paid by the exporter to URA at a time when unprocessed minerals are exported out of Uganda,” he added.

Addressing Members of Parliament today, Bahati said that the above proposals which are contained in the Mining Amendment Bill 2021 are purposely aimed at garnering revenue from the lucrative gold trade.

“This measure is expected to generate Shs 46 billion. His Excellency the President opened up the refinery at Entebbe for gold, we have seen our exports of gold grow at a very high speed and we think we can tap into this to generate some revenue,” Bahati explained.

Adding: “We are starting at a lower level hoping that slowly as we understand business, we will be able to even put more tax with time.”

Statistics from the Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB) show that the country earned USD 343511.94784 (Shs 1.2 Billion) in the Financial Year 2017/18 and USD 433449.06079 (Shs 1.5 Billion) the previous year.

Local beverages

ChimpReports understands that authorities are also mooting plans to charge an excise duty rate of 12% or Shs 250 per liter for non alcoholic drinks made out of fermented sugary tea solutions, with a combination of yeast and bacteria.

That aside, they are also planning to slap a 30% excise duty rate or Shs 230 per liter for locally produced alcohol, something the Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi says might discourage local manufacturers.

“If you wanted to promote locally manufactured goods, you would reduce taxes and increase tax on imported alcohol. Why are you now putting this increment on locally manufactured alcohol?” Mafabi posed.

Read: Gov’t Proposal to Impose Shs 70,000 Exportation Charge on Fish Maws Sparks Outrage

Source – ChimpReports

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