On the invitation of Parliament of Uganda, The National Chairman of UMSC Prof Dr Lubega Muhamadi has today
interacted with the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development which is considering The Tax Amendment Bill 2023.
The Chairman’s team included Dr Ashad Sentongo, Haji Abbas Muluubya, Counsel BunYasin Ibrahim and Dr Ahmad Musa a specialist in Islamic Finance. The discussions dwelled on the Amendments to mainstream and provide for Islamic Banking and these affected, The Income Tax Amendment Bill (no.2) of 2023; The Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
Uganda Muslim Supreme Council having studied the amendments expressed its comfort on the mainstreaming and intentional provision for Islamic Finance (Banking and Insurance) in the Amendments. The team further advised that the contentious issue that has stalled the bill was the establishment of the Central Sharia Advisory Council. To this end, the UMSC is okay with a shift from Central Shariah Advisory to an Institutional Sharia Advisory Council which not only seems more acceptable but is the same system used in other countries including our neighbours Tanzania and Kenya. UMSC was also tasked with advising on an alternative word for ‘interest’ specifically in The Income Tax Amendment Bill (no.2) of 2023.
UMSC advice has been taken into consideration paving way for tabling of the bill on Tuesday 27th June 2023. The underlying benefit is that UMSC can now form the Sharia Advisory Council itself to guide the different financial institutions that will be licensed. Great opportunity for UMSC.
This Law on Islamic Finance in Uganda will be a great achievement for Muslims of Uganda by providing a product that is consistent with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).