Lawmakers on Parliament’s finance committee have rejected government proposed excise duty increment on fuel, saying the move will worsen the situation as the country battles the deadly s COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija (pictured) on Tuesday formally introduced the tax bills to the Finance Committee where it is proposing to slap an increment of 150 shillings on both petrol and diesel and then 100 shillings increment on kerosene.
However, MPs disagreed with government, saying such tax increment will only suffocate the economy that is already struggling because of the COVID-19 shock.
Kasilo County MP, Elija Okupa said it is not of any good to increase prices when the economy is facing trouble, noting that this will exert more pressure on the economy.
Amos Lugoloobi, Parliament’s Budget Committee Chairperson, who is also the Ntenjeru North MP suggested that by now, government would be thinking of cutting the budget to finance the crisis instead of putting pressure on it.
He said in a situation of a crisis, the country cannot be seen to be raising taxes.
Agogo District woman MP, Akello Franca noted that it was insensitive for government to increase taxes in this period when the fuel pump prices for Uganda are the highest in the East Africa region.
She added that this will stifle the economy and urged that the minister to withdraw these measures in the spirit of supporting the economy.
Atwib Katooto, the Katerera County noted that it is abnormal to increase the price of kerosene when people in the village cannot afford the current one.