Uganda: Govt to Revise All Motor Vehicle License Charges

Government plans to revise all motor vehicle license fees, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The revelation comes on the back of an amended law that will require all motor vehicle owners to pay an annual fee in a larger plan that seeks to increase revenue mobilisation.

Previously, it has only been commercial vehicles that had been required to pay an annual license.

However, under the amended Traffic and Road Safety Act, 2020, government will require all motor vehicle owners, including private cars, to pay an annual license, whose fee is yet to be determined.

Speaking at the weekend, Mr Patrick Ocailap, the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, said they had discussed different ways through which road users would contribute to creating a sustainable road sector funding programme and decided to revive the road license, which had been scrapped in the 90s.

"Yes, it is one of the discussions. Remember, we used to pay the road license. The discussion took place around owners of motor vehicles in respect to contributing to what we are investing in roads and also contributing to revenue to support government instead of borrowing all the time. So, it was proposed that those of us with cars pay an annual fee on the road license," he said, noting the actual figure will be arrived at in due course.

However, Mr Moses Kaggwa, the Ministry of Finance acting director Economic Affairs, said that whereas focus was now on what private motor vehicle owners would be paying, all motor vehicle licensing fees will be revised.

The figures were last revised about six years ago under the Finance Act, 2015.

"Most likely they [fees] will be different because they were not based on the 2015 figures. They are going to be different," he said in response to our inquires, among which we had sought to understand how much government would be charging motor vehicle owners in the new licensing regime.

Currently, commercial motor vehicle owners pay between Shs200,000 and Shs1.5m for annual licenses. However, the new revisions, which are expected to be implemented on July 1, are expected to move upwards.

Sources within the Ministry of Finance, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said the new figures had already been discussed and would be forwarded to Parliament for discussion.

Last week Ugandans woke up to the news, which indicated that government had reintroduced the road license, which would be mandatory for every motor vehicle owner.

This is among the larger plan, including the reintroduction of the road toll systems on certain roads, through which government plans to mobilise resources to maintain existing, fund new roads and repay loans advanced towards the road sector.

Revenue mobilisation measures

The Ministry of Works has already drawn out guidelines for the Road Tolling Policy, in which it argues that whereas government has committed a sizeable amount of the national budget towards funding the road infrastructure, the available funding has not been able to meet the road infrastructure development and maintenance needs.

According to the policy, Uganda by 2017 had an established road network of 144,785 kilometre of which 20,544 kilometre were national roads while 35,566 kilometres were district roads.

Out of these 10,108 kilometres were urban while 78,567 kilometres were access roads. The policy indicates that only about 5,300 kilometres, which represented 4 per cent were paved roads while the largest network of 96 per cent was gravel or earth surface.

Therefore, the Ministry of Works argues in the Road Tolling Policy that there is need to create sustainable measures that would enable collection of revenues to contribute to the progress made towards improving the stock and quality of the road infrastructure and services.

Source: The Monitor

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