The Ministry of Health is currently seeking shillings nine billion to clear Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) taxes for the newly purchased Covid-19 double cabin pickups to start working.
While appearing before the Parliamentary COVID-19 taskforce on Wednesday, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that her ministry has failed to clear 121 pickups because of tax issues.
“We requested finance to waive the taxes since this was money from a donation and Finance has responded in negative, saying that we need to look for the money and clear,” Dr. Aceng told the committee.
The said 121 double cabin pickups are part of the 282 vehicles that the ministry said to have purchased from Toyota Uganda earlier this month with shs. 23.9 billion, part of the shs 29 billion donation from the public in the first wave of the pandemic last year.
Dr. Aceng said that the ministry is now stuck, with the cars accruing costs which will also have to be paid.
The minister asked the committee to help in the negotiations with the finance ministry to have the taxes waived off so that the cars can start working.
The Parliamentary Committee on COVID-19 is led by Abdu Katuntu and this now wants the taxes to be waived so that the cars can start working.
Katuntu said that it is not a ‘smart decision’ to have the cars impounded over taxes and therefore urged the finance ministry to waive them off.