COVID-19: PSFU on what must be done to resuscitate the Ugandan economy

Dr. Elly Karuhanga, PSFU Board Chairman
By :
Baluku Geoffrey

KAMPALA – The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) on Sunday, April 26 shared a raft of proposals on what government can do to bolster the economy and cushion the country and her citizens from effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, PSFU Chairman Elly Karuhanga said, the foundation has held numerous meetings with ministry of finance, where a number of intervention areas were proposed for government consideration.

“As we continue to support all initiatives being outlined by both government and the donor community in a bid to protect Ugandans from the effects of this pandemic, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has had discussions with various partners to devise measures on how the economy can be revived,” Karuhanga said.

Among the recommended measures, was for government to fast track payment of all domestic arrears as this they said will help inject liquidity in the market and enable SMEs sustain the businesses.

The PSFU also asked government to lower taxes on products produced with locally sourced raw materials such as excise duty on fruit juices, postpone turnover tax in the current budget to next FY (21/22), freeze tax on rental properties and defer payroll tax payments for the next 6 months as this will help ease business cash flows.

On financing, the PSFU proposes that management of Uganda Development Bank (UDB) be restructured in line with latest development bank dynamics. The foundation also urges government to capitalise UDB and make it more effective in its support to financing requirements of Ugandan entities.

In addition, PSFU has called for support to the tourism sector where UDB can offer a line of financing to help mitigate effects of the pandemic.

Other areas they have made recommendations on include improvement of the administration of the Agriculture Credit Fund as well as recapitalizing and procurement of more cargo aircraft for Uganda Air Cargo as this would help ensure foreign market expansion.

The foundation said that for production to spur, then government needs to promote producer groups, cooperatives and have an efficient warehouse receipt system to ensure food security.

They also called on government to support incubation as this would help add value for both domestic and export markets.

Following consensus that has been forged with government and the short term interventions drawn to support recovery, Africa Tembela understands that PSFU are now planning to organise an e-conference intended to reach as many Ugandans to discuss and agree on measures that can be taken in the medium to long term so as to get Uganda better prepared for similar crises in the future.

According to Mr. Karuhanga, the foundation will work with all development partners and government in ensuring that these recommendations come to pass.

This he says, will give a lot more confidence in Uganda’s economy for further investments and “we look forward” to working with all on developing a “post COVID 19 recovery and growth strategy”

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