Business
MPs direct minister on taxes
Publish Date: Jul 16, 2014
MPs direct minister on taxes
State minister for agriculture, Zerubabel Nyiira
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Joyce Namutebi

The committee on agriculture has directed state minister for agriculture, Zerubabel Nyiira to produce a paper on the rationale for imposing Value Added tax on agricultural inputs and implements.


The MPs threatened not to pass the budget of the ministry until the paper is brought to them for scrutiny.

“We are the sector line defenders. We want to defend what you are comfortable with,” committee chairperson, Matthias Kasamba said as committee members cautioned that the tax is going to negatively impact the agricultural sector upon which majority of Ugandans depend for their livelihood.

The concerns were raised during a meeting with Nyiira at Parliament Tuesday. Present was the Commissioner for Agricultural Planning, Samuel Ssemanda and the Executive Director, Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Jolly Zaribwende.

The committee had invited the officials to discuss the proposed taxes on agricultural inputs and concerns on milk.

In the recent national budget finance minister Maria Kiwanuka announced proposal on termination, with effect from July 1, 2014, of VAT zero rated supplies including supply of machinery and tools for agriculture and supply of seed, fertilizers, pesticides and hoes.

She also announced a proposal to terminate VAT exemptions of supply of feeds for poultry and livestock and supply of agricultural and dairy machinery with effect from July 1, 2014.

Freda Mubanda (NRM) asserted, “We put taxes on things we want to discourage such as tobacco, betting and alcohol. We are giving contrary messages to our people .”

With the new taxes, Margaret Kiboijana (NRM) warned of uprising. She said that even tractors should be exempted from tax so that more people go into mechanization of agriculture. She urged government to come up with a policy on seeds and fertilizers. She wondered why Uganda imports fertilizers from Kenya and other countries when they can be produced in Tororo.

The MPs asked DDA to produce a roadmap on how their operations.

On the dairy industry, Kassiano Wadri (FDC) claimed that government wants to, through certain people, create a monopoly so that some processors are cushioned.

He objected to imposition of taxes on agricultural inputs and implements saying emphasis should instead be put on the sector so as to enable the country to be self- sustaining, save foreign exchange and raise revenue.

 Wadri reasoned that with the taxes, Uganda’s food products would become very expensive paving way for malnutrition. “At the end of the day very few people will engage in meaningful agriculture.”

During the heated discussions, Oleru Huda (NRM) did not shy away from asking the retirement age of civil servants in the ministry of agriculture saying “there is a level you reach and get tired.” She added, “Why is this government therefore if we can’t help our farmers.”

Ssemanda  explained that the taxes were imposed by the ministry of Finance, but Francis Epetait (FDC) said they get surprised when the ministry defends something negative.

Kasamba ruled that for the committee to engage with the ministry of finance on the taxes, they must get the position of the ministry of agriculture.

On the taxes Nyiira wondered whether there is a way to take advantage of the “negative” situation, but Epetait said, “If it is hell, it is hell.

RELATED ARTICLES

Taxes on agricultural inputs will kill sector, MPs told

UNAFFE asks govt to revise taxes on farm inputs

Seed traders petition finance minister over taxes

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
82 Ugandan companies enter EAC market
Eighty-two new small to medium Ugandan companies have managed to break into the East African market since 2009, according to the Uganda Exports Promotions Board (UEPB)....
Merck buys rights to NewLink
US drugmaker Merck has bought the rights to an experimental Ebola vaccine being developed by NewLink Genetics, the companies have said....
MTN tops most admired, valuable African Brand
MTN has again topped the Brand Africa 100® list as the most admired and most valuable African Brand. At over $5.4b, MTN is the only African brand valued over a billion dollars....
17 business personalities awarded American honorary doctorates
A group of 17 personalities with footprints in business and humanitarian circles, have been awarded honorary philosophy doctorates in humanities by an American institution, for positive transformation of society....
Egypt to offer projects to domestic, foreign investors
Egypt will offer a slew of projects to domestic and foreign investors at a conference in March aimed at kick-starting an economy battered by years of political unrest....
Students’ involvement in investment negotiations is key
University students have been urged to get involved in negotiations of trade, bilateral and investment agreements rather than leaving it to technocrats and politicians....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter