Traders Worried New Power Tariffs Will Force Them To Close Their Businesses

Lydia Nabakooza

Traders are worried that they might soon go out of business with the 50 shillings increment on power tariffs.

In the new announced tariff, domestic users will pay shs 771 for a unit of power up from 718 in the last quarter; commercial users will pay shs 687 from previous 647, medium industries will pay shs 615 from 595 while large industries will pay 382 for a unit instead of 374.5 incurred in the last quarter.

Tom Byaruhanga, a trader in drinks and beverages, is concerned that with the tariff increment, he will no longer be able to properly store his goods in his refrigerator. He fears he might not be able to keep his fridge running all the time yet he needs to keep his goods fresh.

Byaruhanga is worried his only source of livelihood and resource for paying his school fees may be threatened. Byaruhanga is a senior six student.

Everest Kayondo, the chairman of Kampala City Traders Association Uganda (KACITA) says the   tariff pinch is likely to doom  the regional  commerce,  “Ugandan products will not  be able to compete on regional markets, the cost of doing business is very high from the newly imposed taxes, rise of fuel and the rise in the interest rates.”

The power tariff increment has many traders wondering if they will be able to break even in this financial year.

But has traders are crying foul manufactures worry how they will break even in this financial year

Daniel Birungi, the Executive Director of Uganda Manufacturers Association, says the increase in power tariff will increase the production process

Birungi says that though manufacturers are willing to pay electricity bills in dollars, government has refused.

The increment in taxes is attributed to the depreciation of the shillings against the dollar and the increment in the fuel prices has a consequence on  new tax

Although Uganda is power producer in the region, its tariffs remain very high.

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