The State Minister for Investment and Privatization in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Evelyn Anite has reiterated the commitment of the government of Uganda to the country’s leading Salt manufacturer, Kampala Salt that would add value to the economic development of the nation’s capital.
Speaking to this reporter on Thursday in Kampala, the Investment Minister said supporting such exceptional investors is in line with the views and objectives of the government of President Yoweri Museveni to encourage private sector’s participation in increasing the economic development of the country.
‘’Of course we are going to support them. We resolved to support them, I am having a meeting with them soon to discuss and see how far they have reached’’, said Hon.Anite, adding that the factory is also awaiting commissioning.
Hon .Anite was responding to a question by journalists who wanted to know how far the government has gone in granting the tax holiday to the sole Salt factory in the country to enable them expand.
Kampala Salt Ltd, a subsidiary of The Kampala Industries And Infrastructure Development Limited (TKIID LTD) asked the Government of Uganda to consider granting them a 10 year tax holiday to spur investments in the salt industry.
The Namagunga, Buikwe District Based USD 10M automated plant-the First of Its Kind in Uganda, which started production in July 2020, has a manufacturing capacity of more than 16000 tones.
During an interview with the Company’s General Manager Alfonso Camilo in April this year , he said the tax holiday will not only help the salt industry grow in the country but also boost Uganda’s salt export to other countries.
Alfonso emphasized that besides the need to put the import duty at zero, they wanted the government to grant them a tax holiday that would enable them to develop the salt industry since it is in its infant stage.
Experts say Uganda’s salt import bill has increased over the years, creeping resources that would have been saved had the local Salt production like Kampala Salt had been empowered through incentives including Tax Holidays and import substitution.
According to a Finance Ministry report demonstrating about 1,500 imports for the year 2019, Uganda spent over Shs95.7b ($25m) on importing salt. Almost 90 per cent of the salt consumed in Uganda is imported, mostly from the neighboring Kenya.
During a guided tour to the factory mid last year, Hon. Evelyn Anite who has been very supportive to industrialists in the country assured the public that Kampala Salt will not only boost local production and reduce the import bill but also export to Rwanda, South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi.
Alok Kala the Company Chief Executive Officer says the tax levied on raw materials is hindering their production capacity, and crippling their expansion.
It should be noted that in March 2017, the government of Uganda Launched the Buy Ugandan Build Uganda (BUBU) policy implementation strategy.
The main objectives of the policy is to promote the consumption and use of local goods and services, increase the local content in government procurement and create awareness for consumers to buy locally produced goods and services.
If well implemented, BUBU is a landmark policy, whose execution can contribute to job and income creation, increase the competitiveness of local products, and consequently reduce the country’s trade discrepancy.