Parliament has passed the Excise duty amendment bill 2017 with amendments. The bill sought to amend the Excise Duty Act 2014, act 11 to revise duties on sugar, confectioneries and locally manufactured furniture and other related matters.

The amendment will see a reduction in the excise duty on Beer whose local raw material content, excluding water is at least 75 per cent by weight of its constituent from Shillings 700 per liter to Shillings 650.

Under the new law, the excise duty on soft cap cigarettes locally manufactured has been increased from 50,000 shillings per 1000 sticks to 55000, while the excise duty on imported soft cap was increased from 50,000 to 75000.

The excise duty for imported hinge lid cigarettes has been fixed at 100, 000 shillings per 1000 sticks.

The excise duty on non-alcoholic beverages excluding fruit and vegetable juices was maintained at 240 shillings which is 13% .

Presenting the report of the parliamentary committee on finance, planning and economic development on the bill, the chairperson also Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi said that Uganda currently has the highest excise duty on locally manufactured cigarettes in the region which affects its competitive advantage from the growth and investment point of

The finance committee had proposed a reduction of the excise duty on the nonalcoholic drinks from 13 per cent to 10 per cent or from Shillings 240 to Shillings 157 but this didn’t go through.

Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP, says Uganda’s excise duty is the highest in region as Kenya’s stands at 7 per cent and Tanzania is at 5 percent, which affects Uganda’s competitive advantage.

However, the State Minister for Planning, David Bahati opposed the reduction, saying it would cost government Shillings 32 billion. He asked the house to give government more time to study the issue. Parliament also maintained the 10 percent excise duty on Sugar, Confectioneries, chewing gum, sweets and chocolates.

It came after the Health Minister; Ruth Aceng argued that sweets are causing Ugandans to lose a lot of money on treating their teeth and obesity. She said more taxes should be added on sweets.