The government has indicated it may not remove new taxes on essential commodities such as soap and cooking oil as demanded by some members of Parliament.
This is after the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja chose to explain that the sharp rise in prices is due to limited supply of raw materials from key producing countries, and not necessarily taxes.
According to Nabbanja, the hiked prices are because the raw material manufacturing countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and China were overwhelmed with the high demand upon re-opening of the economies after the covid-19 lockdown.
“We have taken trouble to find out what is happening in our neighbouring countries. The prices are going up why? Because all countries opened at the same time, those companies or factories in Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and China are overwhelmed with demand in all countries across the globe. Because you know some of these raw materials do not come from here. So, those raw materials that are imported are on a global demand,” She said while addressing journalists.
While speaking at the International Women’s Day Celebrations last week, President Museveni attributed the rise of prices of essential commodities to the Russia-Ukraine War.
Parliamentarians have however disagreed with claims insisting that there are local factors that need to be looked into and addressed in order for the prices to be pulled down.
Patrick Isingoma, the MP for Hoima East says the global factors that have been tabled should not obscure the local factors that need to be addressed.
The rise in commodity prices started with the fuel crisis which the government attributed to shortcomings in the fuel marking system at the border and also said, it was for a short while.
Francis Mwijukye, the legislator for Buhweju County says the hiked prices are because the government insists on suffocating raw material manufacturers with taxes.
“The government insists that they must get that last coin on taxes even when there is a problem. Because you’d ask yourself if Tanzania has said that since there is a global challenge, we are removing taxes on fuel, we are removing taxes on essential products, why can’t we sit as a country and say for now, let’s remove the UGX1500 tax on every litre of fuel,” Mwijukye asked.