UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Vincent Tumusiime, the Director of Socio-economic Monitoring and Research in the Office of the President of Uganda, has suggested implementing a tax on idle land as one of several measures to increase equity in land ownership, improve transparency in land management, and reduce corruption in land transactions.
He made these comments during the launch of the Public Investment Financing Strategy (PIFS) at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on March 21, 2023.
The proposed a tax on idle land as a means of incentivising landowners to make better use of their property is part of a national land policy that the Ugandan government drafted in 2009.
The policy aims to encourage land utilisation, prevent speculative accumulation of land, and compel landowners who cannot develop their land to release it to those who can. However, the proposed tax is yet to be implemented.
“In a developing country aspiring to achieve middle-income status, it is deemed necessary to devise strategies to induce owners of such unutilised land to put it to productive use,” Tumusiime said.
Tumusiime believes that unlocking the potential of unused land can have direct benefits and spillovers that can increase revenue for the country.
He also suggested that the government should consider other proposals, such as setting a cap on how much public land individuals can own, to ensure that land ownership is more equitable and transparent.
Meanwhile, Agnes Kisembo, an official from the United Nations Women, emphasised the need to empower citizens to develop idle land.
Kisembo believes that many Ugandans are below the poverty line and unable to develop their land without government support.
She argued that the government should prioritise addressing poverty to enable citizens to utilise idle land and increase production.
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