Parliament has tasked the Minister of state for trade, industry and cooperatives David Bahati to present a report on the Kampala traders strike over taxing textile.
This follows a matter of national importance raised by Busia Municipality MP, Godfrey Macho over the ongoing sit down strike by traders following their failed negotiations with the government on the new tax policy on textile fabrics and garments.
Macho called upon the government to drop the idea of increasing the tax rates of textiles to 35 per cent as import duty from 25 per cent, and to $5 per kilo on the imported textile materials.
In May, a consortium of trade associations led by Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), United Attire Traders Association and United Tailors Group and Manufacturers Association, petitioned the government to review taxes on imported garments.
The new regime revised tax on textile upwards from 25 per cent to 35 per cent or a charge of $3.5 for every kilogramme while taxes for textile fabrics were increased to 35 per cent or $3 per kilogram.
The new tax regime according to the Government is necessary to protect local manufactures by stopping the importation of garments and fabrics that are manufactured within the country.
Kampala Woman MP, Shamim Malende said that the business community in the country continues to suffer under the watch of the government.
She pointed out the high taxes and the issue of landlords harassing the traders to pay rental arrears yet they had gone for months without working during the lockdown.
Bahati informed the House that following a meeting between KACITA, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade, they had reached an agreement with the traders to maintain the tax rates of textiles at 35 per cent as import duty.
The Deputy Speaker Anita Among who chaired the plenary session directed Bahati to table a report on the matter on September 7, 2021.