Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Mohammad Nsereko has called for an urgent reduction on the exorbitant taxes levied on textile traders and manufacturers.
Nsereko made the call during the Parliament sitting on Tuesday saying the imposing of tax on textile based on kilograms other than meters is an inappropriate and an unfair measure.
“Levying of taxes based on the kilos of the fabric, instead of the size, defies the canons of taxation and it is quite unfair and exorbitant,” said Nsereko.
The legislator noted that a container of textile that used to cost Shs 40m has been hiked 10 times to Shs 400m, precariously eroding on the capital of traders and pushing them away from business.
“People (textile traders) are suffering and risk committing suicide owing to the exorbitant taxes. A container of Shs 40m has in the space of only two months gone to over Shs 400m and the one of 200m to over Shs 1.2bn,” he noted.
Nsereko said that when he went down-town with the URA officials to check and listen from traders’ complaints over exorbitant taxes, they also confirmed that its true, traders are being highly taxed.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who chaired the house, directed the State Minister of Finance in charge of planning, David Bahati to explain on the matter and advice on the way forward.
Bahati asked for time to consult on the matter and return to the house with an informed view and way forward.
“The Ministry of Finance is going to attend to this matter (taxes on textile) between now and tomorrow and brief the house on Thursday because we can’t make a pronouncement before adequate consultation is made with the stakeholders,” said Bahati.
The Speaker asked the Minister to make it a priority and get answers by Wednesday.