Members of Parliament have turned down a proposal by Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko to have bread, wheat and old computers exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT).
Rising the proposal before the house, Nsereko said bread, or any other inputs like wheat should be VAT exempt to make them affordable to citizens, who he said are currently grappling with the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.
“For as long as it (wheat) is declared as an input in the making of bread, let it be exempt,” Nsereko proposed.
However, his proposal was rejected by legislators upon being put to vote.
The MP for Buzaaya County, Martin Muzaale said the 11th Parliament needs to develop an approach to comprehensively look at the tax laws to lessen their burden on the on citizens.
He said instead of looking at bread only, it would have been equally good if Parliament varied by way of reduction or outright exemption, VAT on fuel, which he said has an effect on all other basic commodities.
Nsereko had also proposed a removal of VAT taxes on computers that are older than five years so that more families can afford to buy them for their children in school.
Budama North MP, Fox Odoi Oywelowo, however, differed.
“A five year old computer is due only for destruction; they are an environmental hazard. Destroying them is expensive and Uganda cannot afford it,” he said.
Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among said it would be better to provide requisite conditions for the assembly of computers in the country instead of encouraging the importation of older computers.
“Are we encouraging this country to be a dumping ground? If we can have Kiira Motors (a vehicle manufacturing and assembly plant), why can’t we instead push for an assembly plant (for computers)?” she asked.