MPs Reject Proposed Excise Duty on Kerosene

1585 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The tax had been re-introduced by finance minister Maria Kiwanuka in the Budget estimates for the second consecutive Financial Year on the basis that a high cost of kerosene would discourage unscrupulous dealers to use kerosene to adulterate diesel which causes damage to car engines and industrial motors.

 Parliament has rejected the proposed Ugx 200 excise duty on kerosene.

The tax had been re-introduced by finance minister Maria Kiwanuka in the Budget estimates for the second consecutive Financial Year on the basis that a high cost of kerosene would discourage unscrupulous dealers to use kerosene to adulterate diesel which causes damage to car engines and industrial motors.

The proposal however met a lot of resistance from the general public, environmentalists and civil society organizations arguing that the development was a disservice to the population in rural Uganda most of which depends on either kerosene or wood fuel for lighting and other routines.

Although government thought that kerosene tax hikes won’t be substantial, opposing members stated that such a tax is not ideal in a country with limited access to electricity.   
Today, the matter was subjected to a vote as parliament extensively debated the Excise tariff Bill, 2014.

During the debate, Oyam South MP Betty Amongi stated that the tax was not favorable to women especially from the countryside, thousands of whom had already petitioned parliament through the finance committee. She further argued that the justification fronted by the Finance Ministry is baseless since fuel adulteration can still persist even with the tax in place.

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Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah put the question twice to clear all ambiguities on the vote after recording stern objection from members opposing the tax. The house voted to reject the proposal and have it expunged from the bill.

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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.