In his state of the Nation Address, which mainly focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, its effect on the economy and plans by government, Museveni revealed that Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has proposed several measures meant to provide liquidity to private firms affected by the lockdown.
President Yoweri Museveni has listed eleven measures that the government, through the Finance Ministry is considering to provide liquidity to private firms affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Several companies have been affected by the nationwide lockdown that was announced in March when Uganda registered its first COVID-19 positive case.
In his state of the Nation Address, which mainly focused on the pandemic, its effect on the economy and plans by the government, Museveni said that the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has proposed several measures meant to provide liquidity to private firms affected by the lockdown.
He said these include among others allowing corporations comprising both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to delay payment of corporation tax or presumptive taxes due between April and June 2020 and defer the taxes for tourism, manufacturing, horticulture and floriculture until September 2020.
The other measures are deferring payment of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) tax by the most affected sectors until September 2020, waiver of interest on tax arrears, support to water and electricity utilities to ensure the continued supply of the essential services to consumers during the period between April to June 2020.
The others are expediting payment of outstanding VAT refunds, payment of domestic arrears for goods and services supplied to Government by the private sector.
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The President also mentioned capitalisation of Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) with Shillings 100 billion to enable Government to invest in strategic areas, boosting funding to Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) in the financial year 2020/2021 to continue with innovation research and incubation of business start-ups and others.
The other measures include securing funding for the development of Kampala Industrial Business Park at Namanve and power transmission and substations for the Mbale, Kapeeka, Bweyogerere, Kasese, Soroti, Luzira, Jinja and Mbarara industrial parks. Museveni said that Finance will provide details of all the measures while delivering the coming financial year budget on Thursday next week.
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On the issue of tenants, Museveni emphasized that the government will not allow the landlords to evict tenants on account of failure to pay rent.
"Discussions have started with both groups and a solution will be found. This lockdown is new for people in the towns. However, we the cattle keepers repeatedly face lockdowns lasting for many months whenever there are epidemics of foot and mouth (ejwa) or CBPP (Kihaha). Quarantines are normally imposed. However, we survive and thrive later,” he said.
He added that the people affected should be registered and that an appropriate formula of support will be found that doesn’t create dependency. Museveni also noted that food distribution for the genuine groups will continue until the problem is over. He, however, said that many families in Uganda do not need free food but just need seeds and low-interest loans and markets for their products.