Government to re-introduce Shs200 duty on paraffin

Kampala- The government will reintroduce the Shs200 excise duty on each litre of paraffin purchased, Mr Tim Lwanga, the chairperson Parliament’s Budget Committee, has said.

It will be reintroduced through the 20142015 Budget, which will take effect on July 1.“The Shs200 is coming back again. But this time it will be ring-fenced to go to rural electrification. Some people suggested that we ask for more than Shs200. But we said no to that,” said Mr Lwanga at an Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) luncheon in Kampala.

The government had introduced the duty in the July 2013 Budget but scrapped it in September after Oyam South MP Betty Amongi said it would put paraffin out of the reach of many Ugandans.

As a result of such a tax, many low-income households would continue using charcoal to cook, and in the process contribute to deforestation and or environmental degradation.

Last year, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) launched the Rural Electrification Strategy Plan (RESP) which will run until 2022.

Through it, the government intends to increase from five per cent to 22 per cent the number of the people in the rural areas with access to electricity.

Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, said the government should rethink rural electrification because it is expensive to extend power to all the households in the rural areas. He said the government should promote off-grid systems.

Source: Daily Monitor

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