Traders accept to reopen businesses after Museveni meeting

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Traders accept to reopen businesses after Museveni meeting
Most shops remained closed in the CBD on Tuesday | Courtesy-Radio Pacis

Traders protesting the unfair Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution(EFRIS) system by Uganda Revenue Authority( URA) have accepted to reopen their businesses after a Friday night meeting with President Museveni over the matter.

In a statement by State House on Friday night, the development followed a directive by the president to URA suspending all penalties, for the meantime, to give room for wider consultations.

In the meeting, the delegation of 61 leaders of traders  was led by  Kabanda John, the leader of the Federation of Uganda’s Traders Associations (FUTA) and Dr. Musoke Thadeus Agenda, the leader of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA).

“The discussions mainly centred on the taxation levied on their businesses, especially the EFRIS system.The leaders of the traders agreed to reopen their businesses as they continue to consult further with the government,” the statement said in part.

In a statement on his social media accounts, President Museveni confirmed the development, noting that the meeting discussed tax levied on  textiles calculated based on kilograms which the traders say is high but also manufacturers who engage in wholesale and retail leave no room for traders to do business, resulting in unfair trade.

“I listened to their issues which also included the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) which they claim is not suitable for most of them and when they don't use it they are penalized. The threshold for Value Added Tax (VAT), which is currently an annual turnover of Shs 150 million that they say should be increased,” Museveni said.

The president however said that traders should reflect and answer questions on whether they want to build their  country Uganda or other countries by trading in goods produced by them.

“Must we continue to cause a hemorrhage of the little that we have made through agriculture and other sectors by sending our money outside? Uganda should not be a supermarket for other countries.”

He however said another meeting will be held on May, 7 at Kololo independence grounds to further discuss the issues.

In the meantime, the traders will reopen their businesses as Museveni consults technocrats on the matter.

The development followed a protest by traders since Tuesday over, mainly, the implementation of EFRIS system by URA.


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