The Parliamentary Committee on National Budget and Patrimony says it wants to increase citizens’ participation in the tax legislation so as to enact laws that are responding to their needs and the country’s socioeconomic development. The committee chairperson, MP Omar Munyaneza, made the observation on Wednesday, January 11, as the Committee undertook the scrutiny of the draft law amending the 2019 law on tax procedures. This bill seeks to govern all the procedures or actions to be followed while collecting taxes in the country, including penalties for non-compliance. Munyaneza said their commitment is in line with the guideline that President Paul Kagame gave, requesting that taxes should be eased with a view to get more revenues, but without burdening taxpayers with high charges. While presiding over the election and swearing-in of new Senate President, François-Xavier Kalinda, Kagame tasked entities responsible for taxation policy and legislation to consider ways to address the high tax issues exposed by residents as soon as possible. The President said that he was told high taxes impede investments and the private sector performance. “We realised that as the Parliament which is in charge of analysing and enacting laws, it is good to invite all people concerned with taxes, that is the private sector, the civil society and various others, so that we have an in-depth discussion with them in order to consider their views that might lead to amendment of the tax legislation, if need be,” Munyaneza said. “We want to go beyond their representatives and engage more Rwandans who might be affected by these taxes so that we hold discussions in a consultative meeting,” he said. Meanwhile, he indicated that the MPs were going to devise the best ways to do that, whether to reach out to the citizens in provinces or invite some of them to come to Parliament. Speaking to The New Times, Junis Mukanyandwi, owner of Everything Art – a shoe-making company – said that the involvement of citizens including businesspeople in setting tax laws is a laupayingdable move. “Paying taxes is necessary. But, many residents, especially businesspeople, fear to pay them because they have limited information about them. So, if they participate in tax legislation, there will be ownership of the taxation processes,” she said.