With the symbol of a long horned cow at the back, the 50 Shillings coin is making a rare comeback. Since the beginning of the financial year 2014/15, there has been increased presence of the 50 Shillings coin.
From boda-boda cyclists, taxi conductors and retail outlets, there is an increased presence of the coin, which had been mostly scarce.
According to Bank of Uganda (BOU), the increment in the circulation of this denomination is because of price changes made by the big retail companies.
Christine Alupo, Director of Communications at BOU said that there has been demand for these coins by various businesses, which has forced the central bank to respond.
There are specific goods that have seen price changes of Shillings 50.
For instance, Sugar prices are now at an average of 2350 Uganda Shillings in most retail outlets. Excise duty on Sugar increased to 50 Shillings up from 25 Shillings in 2013/14.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has already started collecting these taxes, which explains the current increase in prices of some commodities. Additionally, excise duty on petrol and diesel has increased by 50 shillings per litre as a result of an increase in excise duty on fuel.
Alupo explains that the increase in circulation of 50 shillings coins is not unusual in the country.
The Shillings 50 coin became legal tender in 1999, when BOU recalled the 50 Shillings paper money. It was part of the series of coins of 100 Shillings, 200 Shillings and 500 Shillings all introduced in the same year. These small denominations were introduced to help facilitate trade, especially where it required their use