If one evaluates the revenue generated from work and resident permits and compares it with that earned from taxes, one wonders which of the two generates higher revenue?
That question must have lingered in the minds of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members when Mr Chris Opoka (Uganda) made his contribution on the petition to the assembly regarding work/residence permits in the EAC.
Partner States should analyse the percentage of revenues earned from work permits vis a vis investment projects and the opportunities including payment of taxes and creation of jobs as a result for EA citizens.
Work and resident permits major impediments to attraction of investments in the region thus killing opportunities that come with projects.
It costs about $3000 for a work permit per a year in some of the Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) compared to $155 in a developed country like Canada,” Mr. Opoka said.
“This is however against the agreed principle that the region must become an investment destination. If it is about revenue, we can earn much more if people work and they get taxed instead of charging high taxes on permits,” he added. “It is not developmental if the cost of issuing permits is high, this stops people from coming to work, to invest and to develop.”
EAC steps up efforts to curb tax evasion
NAIROBI -Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda recently struck a deal to jointly clear cargo at the Kilindini port as part of efforts by the EAC Partner States to operationalize seamless regional trade.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner-general John Njiraini said the regional cargo tracking system that includes monitoring consignments on transit on a single electronic platform would enable the three countries to seamlessly monitor cargo from Mombasa to Kigali and eventually Juba, curbing revenue leaks.
“This approach will remove the opportunities presently exploited by crooks at the changeover of seals at border points by requiring affixation of only one seal to be disarmed on arrival at destination,” he said.