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Uganda: Traders Petition Parliament Over Cost of Doing Business

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  Merchants from the Kampala City Merchants Association KACITA have petitioned Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa about the high costs of doing business and prayed that the government would stop granting selective tax breaks KACITA led by its president Thadeus Musoke said that after the COVID 19 pandemic a number of its members lost property to banks due to unpaid loans and are struggling to get back into business Our loans piled up we tried to get different government agencies and banks involved but what was designed to help us was not effective enough because currently banks are auctioning off buildings and properties and business communities cannot access top ups he said Musoke during the meeting held at the Parliament Building on Tuesday September 27 2022 Musoke also said that during an earlier meeting with the President they requested the design of a special fund to help merchants trade Ugandan products through the Build and buy Uganda a request that has not been implemented to date Traders prayed for Parliament to prevail over the Central Bank which sets a high Central Bank Rate CBR which is used to implement or signal its monetary policy stance leading to high interest rates They also called for a fair tax regime arguing that traders have been affected by the new tax policy that raised the import tax on garments from 25 to 35 percent or US 3 5 per kilogram Musoke said the high costs of doing business are also affecting their businesses as merchants The Association also proposed that the government stop granting tax exemptions that only benefit a few business people and instead introduce non tax incentives such as subsidies for public services and the expansion of the transport sector to ensure an enabling environment In response to the petition Vice President Tayebwa praised KACITA for preferring dialogue to protests which are not productive He urged KACITA to self regulate to ensure that they produce standard products for both local use and export He also called on traders to export more saying that focusing on imports puts too much pressure on Uganda s economy and currency Later during the plenary session the Vice President forwarded the request to the Trade Tourism and Industry Committee so that it could study the concerns of the deputies and inform the Chamber
Uganda: Traders Petition Parliament Over Cost of Doing Business

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Kampala Cit

Merchants from the Kampala City Merchants Association (KACITA) have petitioned Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa about the high costs of doing business and prayed that the government would stop granting selective tax breaks.

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KACITA, led by its president Thadeus Musoke, said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of its members lost property to banks due to unpaid loans and are struggling to get back into business.

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“Our loans piled up, we tried to get different government agencies and banks involved, but what was designed to help us was not effective enough because currently banks are auctioning off buildings and properties and business communities cannot access top-ups,” he said.

Musoke during the meeting.

held at the Parliament Building on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

Musoke also said that during an earlier meeting with the President, they requested the design of a special fund to help merchants trade Ugandan products through the “Build and buy Uganda”, a request that has not been implemented to date.

Traders prayed for Parliament to prevail over the Central Bank which sets a high Central Bank Rate (CBR) which is used to implement or signal its monetary policy stance leading to high interest rates.

They also called for a fair tax regime, arguing that traders have been affected by the new tax policy that raised the import tax on garments from 25 to 35 percent or US$3.5 per kilogram.

Musoke said the high costs of doing business are also affecting their businesses as merchants.

The Association also proposed that the government stop granting tax exemptions that only benefit a few business people, and instead introduce non-tax incentives such as subsidies for public services and the expansion of the transport sector to ensure an enabling environment.

In response to the petition, Vice President Tayebwa praised KACITA for preferring dialogue to protests, which are not productive.

He urged KACITA to self-regulate to ensure that they produce standard products for both local use and export.

He also called on traders to export more, saying that focusing on imports puts too much pressure on Uganda’s economy and currency.

Later, during the plenary session, the Vice President forwarded the request to the Trade, Tourism and Industry Committee so that it could study the concerns of the deputies and inform the Chamber.

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