Use Budget to reduce cost of doing business, govt urged


Various sector players are urging the government to use today’s Budget to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

According to the president of the Uganda National Chambers of Commerce and Industries (UNCCI), Ms Olive Kigongo, the interest charged on loans, the cost of power and other utilities, are among the things the private sector—particularly manufacturers are grappling with on a daily basis—and therefore need revised.

“The cost of power is still too high and that is one of the biggest problems the manufacturers are complaining about. The cost of borrowing is the other issue that needs to be addressed,” Ms Kigongo said on Wednesday.

UNCCI head of communication Martin Okumu suggested that the national budget can ease those pressures that are stifling business and making it difficult for the private sector to compete favourably.

He said: “We expect no increase of taxes in fuel we also want to see more investment in making power affordable and accessible and policies that will result in affordable interests on loans.”

He continued: “At the moment, we are borrowing at rate of 18 and 22 per cent, yet we could access those finances at 15 per cent or lower. This is not good for business at all. And we hope the budget can come up with a solution for that.”

Among the initiatives that could spur borrowing and bring down the high interest rates, is the introduction of Islamic banking where both the lender and the borrower share the profit and losses.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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