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Manufacturers want duty-free steel imports

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th November 2008 03:00 AM

THE Government should delay imposing a tax on imported galvanised steel coils for over two years, steel manufacturers have suggested.

THE Government should delay imposing a tax on imported galvanised steel coils for over two years, steel manufacturers have suggested.

By Godfrey Kimono

THE Government should delay imposing a tax on imported galvanised steel coils for over two years, steel manufacturers have suggested.

Sikander Lalani, the managing director of Roofings, said taxing the galvanised steel coils would make companies shift the burden to consumers.

“Galvanised steel coils are raw materials for corrugated roofing sheets, expanded metals and other steel products. We, the processors, are opposed to the proposal by Uganda Baati that a 10% duty is levied on imported steel materials,” Lalani told a press conference at Lweza on Entebbe Road.

The press conference was attended by officials of Roofings, Tororo Cement, Hardware Deals/Steel and Tube Industries, Sembule Steel Mills, East African Roofings Systems and Megha Industries.

The managing director of East African Roofing Systems, Deo Kayemba, said he was aggrieved by Uganda Baati for continuously lobbying the Government to impose a 10% import duty on steel products.

“We need to protect end users from high prices due to increased costs of production resulting from the duty that is imposed on the raw materials,” Kayemba explained.

The manufacturers’ request follows an article that appeared in The New Vision of Monday 17 in which Uganda Baati said a tax of at least 10% should be imposed on plain galvanised steel coils in order to protect local manufacturers.

According to a press release, manufacturers of steel products contribute more than sh67b in taxes annually and the Government may lose more than sh57b if the import duty is imposed.

The manufacturers said Uganda Baati only produces 35% of the galvanised steel coils needed in the country as raw materials for steel products.

They further argued that the tax would create a monopoly with a 10% advantage over others and force new manufacturers out of the market.

They said Uganda’s steel industry was still at the infant stage and needs a duty-free environment to grow.

Lalani said duty-free steel imports would promote various sectors and increase revenue for the Government indirectly.

Manufacturers want duty-free steel imports

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