Source : Daily Monitor – MBS Fruits Agencies Ltd, a wines and spirits producers in Uganda has asked the government to give a tax holiday to newly established local industries to enable them compete with established competitors.
MBS Sales and Marketing Manager Rogers Kabuye said it is hard for a new company to survive alongside established companies. He pointed, particularly, to taxes such as the customs and excise duty levied by the government.
Kabuye said although these taxes exist elsewhere in the region, they are higher in Uganda thus making their cost of production uncompetitive in the region.
“We are requesting the government to be supportive of new local industries, they should be regarded top priority and protect them. They need to be nurtured to survive stiff competition otherwise if left alone during their infancy stages they are likely to collapse,” Kabuye told Journalists on Friday at their offices in Wankulukuku.
He was also announcing their promotion dubbed: Healthy Wine aimed at encouraging people to consume more wine.
MBS is popularly known for producing Romi Wine, Black Bull Waragi, Romi’s Fruit Wine and whisky.
Kabuye said the government should consider offering tax holidays to emerging local business.
“Some years ago nobody knew Uganda could produce wine locally [but] now that we have began production, the high taxes imposed are killing us, the government should be lenient instead and provide incentives so that we expand the local industry,” he said.
Kabuye also complained of Uganda Revenue Authority customs clearance at border posts saying it hinders the exportation of their products to neighbouring countries where they had secured a huge customer base.
He said that the irregularities and the time spent clearing with URA officials is such a tedious process. The wine industry depends mainly on imported fruit raw materials because fruit harvesting in Uganda is seasonal.
Imports are mainly from Kenya.