By Felix Oketcho
Patrick Bitature, a respected businessman has urged Ugandans to pay taxes in an effort aimed at supporting government raise revenue needed for infrastructure developments like roads, hospitals and electricity provision.
Bitature, who ranks among the country’s top richest men says this is the only way government will raise domestic revenue needed to finance national budget expenditures.
In June government read financial year 2018/19 budget of Shs32trillionof which 50% of the budget money will go towards debt repayment.
“Our tax base is very low and the number of people paying taxes is still very low hovering around one million. If this country is to improve its economic growth and development, all Ugandans working both in formal and informal sector should pay taxes to reverse this trend,” Bitature, who is also the Chairman of Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) said.
He cited countries like Malaysia, China, America and United Kingdom as examples of nations whose citizens have voluntarily contributed towards tax payment hence registered faster growth and development.
Uganda Revenue Authority is expected to collect Shs16trillion this financial year 2018/19.
Bitature made the appeal while commenting about his recent global award he attained from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration where he scooped the presidential medal in business category.
This is one of the highest accolades conferred by internationally renowned Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)for distinguished or meritorious service.
ICSA President John Heaton,said Dr Bitature has been a supporter of the Institute for many years and is a champion of good governance.
“Each company in the Simba Group has a sound management structure, financial independence and is overseen by properly functioning board. It is of great credit to Dr Bitature that all companies in the Simba Group adhere to the group’s core principles of integrity, innovation and adaptability,” Heaton Said.
Dr Bitature has generously facilitated the provision of accommodation for the annual Directors and Secretaries Conference in Kampala which ICSA Uganda holds in collaboration with the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda.
Besides being the founder and Executive Chairman of the Simba Group of companies, Dr Bitature is the Chairman Umeme Limited, the largest electricity distributor in Uganda and Honorary Consul for Australia in Uganda.