The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Doris Akol, has defended the increment in the environmental levy on the importation of used cars, saying the spike in the cost of shipping ''old'' cars to the country will supplement efforts to protect the environment from pollution.
By Pascal Kwesiga
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Doris Akol, has defended the increment in the environmental levy on the importation of used cars, saying the spike in the cost of shipping 'old' cars to the country will supplement efforts to protect the environment from pollution.
The Government increased the environmental levy from 20% to 35% on used motor-vehicles of five to 10 years old in the 2015/2016 budget.
A 50% environmental charge was also imposed on 10-year-old motor vehicles and beyond in the national budget unveiled by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija last week.
The environmental tax to be computed from the cost insurance and freight on used cars will increase the cost of their transport and price.
"It is a reality that we are facing and people importing used cars should be prepared. They will no longer be economically viable," Akol said.
The tax increment, the URA boss, said will 'wean' the population off used cars because importers have to pay more taxes such as withholding tax, Value Added Tax and import duty for the same vehicles.
"Eventually, Ugandans will realize that it is economically viable to buy a new car than an old car," she added.
Akol was speaking to New Vision during the science fair at St. Kizito SS in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb, recently.
The students showcased the alternative sources of energy the institution is harnessing such as briquettes and solar to conserve the environment.
The science fair was held on the theme: Save the environment and humanity through science. The students also make environmental friendly paper bags and beads for sale.
A recent investigation by Mwalimu, an educational pullout that runs in New Vision on Wednesdays, discovered that schools were some of the biggest contributors to environmental destruction through tons of fire wood and charcoal they use.
Akol commended the school for its efforts in protecting the environment through tree planting and use of alternative sources of energy. She asked the schools to supplement Government's efforts to fight plastic bags and irresponsible disposal of plastics.
"We are an environmentally sensitive organization and we have imposed a tax on environmentally unfriendly cars," she added.
The school head teacher, Boniconsilii Ngabirano, said schools ought to think twice in the wake of the Mwalimu investigation.
"We are the scientists who should not be destroying the environment. Schools should not be the destroyers of the environment. We should innovate scientific ways of protecting the environment," she added.
Ngabirano urged parents and schools to encourage the learners to be innovative and protect the environment.
URA boss defends tax on ''old'' cars