The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has called on Parliament to align national policies to the National Planning Framework that is premised on the Vision 2040, annual budget and Ministerial Policy statements.
According to the PSFU Executive Director Francis Kisirinya, the business community invests based on national plans but some actions and policies outside these plans have been taken that end up affecting the business sector.
Kisirinya also urged Parliament to ensure that the annual budget financing creates a balance between revenue mobilization and the needs of growing the private sector in Uganda.
“Many times we focus on revenue mobilisation which in the short run stifles the business community, evidenced in our tax frameworks. Taxes on products made from locally sourced materials are very high and leave the products outside the reach of the local consumers,” said Kisirinya.
He added that many farmers who depend on the agricultural sector for a livelihood lost market for their farm produce, which in turn affects their expected returns on investment.
He said this in a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, which was also attended by the Board of Directors of PSFU, on Wednesday, 29 September 2021.
Kisirinya also made a call to the Speaker to allow for the return of the Local Content Bill in the 11th Parliament for consideration and approval, noting that the private sector in the country is expectant for the law.
“we would like you to find a mechanism through which business laws can be quickened. Some bills that were before the 10th Parliament like the NSSF Bill, lapsed with the end of the tenure,” he added.
The PSFU Executive Director also urged Parliament to ensure that Government implements timely processing of oversight reports like accountability and audit reports, to ensure remedial actions are undertaken in time.
He also asked the Speaker to create provision for continuous dialogue by Parliament Committees with the private sector.
Oulanyah said implementing a political intervention as a matter of policy will go a long way in deliberately developing Uganda’s private sector.
The Speaker said the policy is to have an economy that is private-sector led, adding that there is need to enable the private sector to live up to its billing.
“I keep challenging our ministers to forget about regulation for now and focus on facilitation that applies to policy, laws and the budget. It is the time now for PSFU to engage with our essential committees to lay a foundation for serious discussions,” said Oulanyah.
“I am delighted that we have made first contact and must be permanent, so that we use the presence of this office and my presence to enhance the capabilities of the private sector which can help us to grow,” the Speaker added.