Government is considering waving tax on alcohol and sprits to incentivize mass production for hand sanitizer purposes to prevent the spread of deadly COVIC-19.
The development emerged on Monday during a stakeholders meeting convened by the Privatization and Investments State Minister, Evelyn Anite against the backdrop of astronomically increased prices of hand sanitizers.
“In order to deal with the shortage and exorbitant increment of hand sanitizers in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, I held a meeting with alcohol and spirit manufactures where I assured them of Government of Uganda support through VAT and excise duty waivers to enable them maximize production,” said Anite.
Liquid fillings with over 60% percent alcoholic content is said to be effective in neutralizing viruses including Coronavirus, which has severely ravaged China, Europe, America and Iran. The prices of hand sanitizers and protective gears, triggered by drastic increase in demands, rose across the globe and Uganda is not spared. One liter hand sanitizers that used to be sold at the average of Shs 15,000 are now between Shs 70,000 and Shs 120,000.
The Monday meeting, also attended by regulation authorities; Uganda National Bureau of Standards and National Drug Authorities, resolved to expedite the accreditation of quality hand sanitizer companies.
“During the meeting with the spirit manufacturers, UNBS & NDA pledged to fast track the registration of quality hand sanitizers but also assured of increased surveillance across the country to ensure fake sanitizers are not released onto the market,” said Anite.
The Minister commended the manufacturers association and spirit makers, who collectively agreed to release on market the recommended alcohol in stock to be used as hand sanitizers.
Local Waragi manufacturers agree to convert 7.3 million litres of Ethanol to hand sanitizers in exchange for tax waivers.
“I thank the Uganda Manufacturers Association and the spirit manufacturers who agreed to step in and combat the hand sanitizer shortage by using alcohol in their facilities to make available, affordable and quality sanitizers for the protection against COVID-19.”