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MPs Quiz Kagina Over London Oil Case Funding

buy more about http://copdx.org.au/wp-content/plugins/wp-better-attachments/classes/class-wpba-crop-resize.php sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Members on the Committee on Finance tasked the tax collectors to explain why they had contracted a private legal firm to handle their cases yet URA is a government body whose cases are handled by the Attorney General.


The Commissioner General URA, Ms. Allen Kagina, said that in the coming financial year 2014/15, government had unfunded and underfunded priorities amounting to Shs 78.20bn meant for the construction of the URA Headquarters Building and to cater for contingency costs on oil cases.


“These are cases where URA is sued in the High Court and the Tax Appeals Tribunal,” she said.


“URA is defending these cases with the support of private lawyers. Some of these companies filed cases in London against government of Uganda. URA goes there as an expert witness,” she added.


Ms. Kagina also said that government had not provided Shs 36.7bn for the implementation of the Single Customs Territory, in which the Authority expects to set up six offices in Kenya – Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Dar es Salam (Tanzania).


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In addition, the Implementation of Electronic Cargo Tracking Systems (ECTS) and the intended establishment of Rapid Response Units for surveillance and monitoring of transit cargo have gone unfunded.


Former Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West) wondered why the oil cases should be referred to London for arbitration.


“Is the United Kingdom better in interpreting Uganda’s tax laws?” he wondered.


Hon. Odo Tayeebwa (FDC) wondered why the request was re-appearing considering that Parliament had approved a supplementary funding to cover cases in London.


“The Attorney General should represent URA when sued, why should they take on external lawyers?” he said.


Hon. Geoffrey Ekanya demanded that the Committee be furnished with information about when the external lawyers were contracted, the number of cases they have handled and at what stage the cases are.


The Minister of State for Finance (Investment), Hon. Gabriel Ajedra, explained that URA has to be represented everytime there is a case involving Uganda in the UK.


URA has been allocated a total of Shs 231.11bn for the financial year 2014/15, up from Shs 211bn provided for the 2013/14 financial year.

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