Parliament chaired by the Deputy Speaker, stuff Jacob Oulanyah on Wednesday passed amendments to increase taxes on cigarettes in the next financial year 2017/2018.
The approved increase was provided for in the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2017 which has been passed by amendments as provided for by the Members of the Parliamentary Finance committee.
The State Minister for Planning, David Bahati told Parliament that Government collected proceeds of Shs19bn following the increment of taxes on cigarettes in the current financial year.
According to the bill, Government proposed to increase the taxes on Soft cap (cigarettes) to Shs50, 000 on each 1000 locally manufactured cigar sticks and Shs55, 000 on 1000 imported sticks.
However, legislators noted that there is still need to widen the gap between the locally manufactured and imported cigarettes.
Budadili West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi welcomed the move to increase the tax but warned government against failing investments by Local Manufacturers.
“The difference between local and imported Cigarettes should be wide because people will go for imported cigars. BAT closed company and went to Kenya, they actually went with our jobs, we should make it difficult for them,” Nandala argued.
Mafabi proposed to have the tax on imported cigars at Shs105, 000 per 1000 sticks, Bahati proposed for locally manufactured at cigarettes at Shs55, 000 and imported at Shs75, 000 while the Committee Chairperson, Henry Musasizi proposed Shs80, 000 and Shs100, 000 respectively.
However, members agreed with the proposal tabled by Hon. Musasizi agreeing to have taxes on Cigarettes amended to Shs80, 000 on locally made and Shs 100, 000 on imported Cigarettes per 100 sticks.