President Yoweri Museveni has referred the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2016 back to Parliament for reconsideration duty on incoming international calls.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt.Hon. Rebecca Kadaga informed the House, Wednesday, 04th May 2016, that the President noted that the removal of excise duty would not lead to an increase of incoming international calls but will benefit the illegal operators and lead to loss of government revenue.
“I exercise my powers under Article 91 (3b) of the Constitution to return the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for reconsideration of Clause 3(1) which repealed the excise duty on incoming international calls,” the President said in the communication.
Museveni added that when Uganda joined the one area network in 2015, incoming calls reduced.
He attributed this to incoming international calls terminating in Kenya and South Sudan and yet routed to Uganda as domestic calls thereby denying Uganda and the telecom companies excise duty and revenue respectively.
“I have been informed that it is not calls being terminated in Kenya and South Sudan that are a problem. The presence of illegal sim boxes both within Uganda and at the borders is the issue leading to these losses,” Museveni said.
He says that reinstating excise duty on these calls is one way of curbing the loss of revenue.
Kadaga referred the Bill to the Committee of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for consideration before reporting back to the plenary.