By our reporter
Majestic Brands, a Buganda Kingdom investment arm responsible for the production of Ngule beer has on Wednesday dissented the over taxation of their brand as per the Excise Duty (Amendment) bill 2018.
In the bill, unlike other opaque beer brands like Chibuku which are taxed at shs230 per little, Ngule is taxed much higher at shs650 per little.
While appearing before the Sectoral Committee on Finance , Planning and Economic Development, Majestic Brands officials revealed that being an opaque beer, Ngule should be taxed similarly like other brands which fall under the same category.
Owek Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, the Buganda Minister of Finance, Planning and Investments who led the team told the committee that the bill is discriminative in nature and does not promote fair competition.
He said the current taxation model against Ngule is double compared to other opaque beers which have been on market more than their brand.
“At present, an affordable brand like Ngule, which is newer in the market (3 years), is being sold at UGX. 2,000/= and taxed at “30% or 650/= per liter, whichever is higher”. This is double what opaque beer is proposed to be taxed at and yet opaque beer, which has been in existence for more than 6 years, has never been taxed and therefore able to be sold between UGX. 1,000 and 1,200/=. And yet, the proposal is to tax it less than those already taxed,” Owek Nsibirwa noted.
He further called for price parity for all brands whose local raw material content is above 95 percent.
“Our request is for price parity for all brands whose local raw material content is above 95% especially since both beers are supposed to be affordable enough to recruit from unbranded and untaxed alcohol, which is cheap and abused by youth,” he appealed.