Uganda needs to find alternative ways of raising revenue, says IMF

7 Nov 17

Uganda’s overall fiscal deficit has widened and the government is increasingly in financial need because of difficulties in getting its budget passed, the International Monetary Fund has said. 

Government departments were requesting more funds because the Ugandan parliament had not approved of some of the government’s plans in the budget to raise revenue, as well as “additional expenditure pressures”, the IMF concluded at the end of its visit to the East African country.  

IMF team leader Alex Schimmelpfennig said in a statement: “The team advised the authorities to explore alternative revenue measures and contain expenditure pressures, while protecting social spending. ”

He added that the team has encouraged the local authorities to continue the strategy of increasing revenue collection by at least 0.5% of GDP per year and underlined the importance of targeting a deficit that maintains debt sustainability.

According to the World Bank, Uganda’s shortfall of nearly $1.4bn in financing per year, equivalent to 6.5% of its GDP could be filled by looking to the private sector for infrastructure investments.

Growth is projected by the IMF to reach 5% in 2017/18, up from 4% the previous year, as a result of better weather conditions.

Inflation was 4.8% year-on-year last month and the Bank of Uganda appropriately continued its easing cycle, with core inflation projected to remain in line with the 5% target.

OECD data showed last month that tax and revenue collection in African countries had continued to improve

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