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Monday, 21 September 2009
 
Parliament met at 2.40 p.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.
 
PRAYERS
 
(The Speaker, Mr Edward Ssekandi, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to order.
 
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I welcome you to this sitting. I also take this opportunity to congratulate our colleagues, the members of the Islamic faith, for successfully completing the month of Ramadhan. I hope that the inspiration they gained during that month will continue; they should continue to pray for our country. Thank you very much.
 
2.45
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Prof. Morris Ogenga-Latigo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues. I travelled with the Rt Hon. Speaker and some of our colleagues to Chicago for the Uganda North America Association Convention. I later on took my journey back through Washington and London. Of course while I was away, many things happened. So now that I have returned, I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal sympathies and condolences to those who lost their dear ones during the riots of last week, but one.
 
Mr Speaker, we were also not aware that Parliament would sit today. Many of my members have gone to Karamoja; the Greater North Parliamentary Association and some of the NGOs involved in disarmament are in Karamoja. There is also a peace meeting today in Kotido, which is to be attended by representatives from the neighbouring districts of the Karamoja area. That is why you see my side being very empty; it is because quite a number of the members are in that part of the country.
 
Mr Speaker, I have not looked at the Order Paper, otherwise, I do not know whether government is going to make a statement in regard to the tragedy that befell the Amisom peacekeepers in Somalia? The other time  and that was the last time I spoke here  I raised something on how, as a country, we should handle cases of our brothers and sisters who sacrifice their lives in defence of our country and the causes for which we stand. At that time three Ugandan soldiers had died in Somalia. Their bodies were brought, but they were just sent to their respective homes for burial without any formal statement from government on this incident. I find it very difficult for us to continue supporting government on missions where fallen sons and daughters of Uganda do not get the recognition they deserve when they get into problems.
 
At that time, I remember I pointed out that the British were that very day - and the day before had been - in national prayers where Prince Philip and many other dignitaries attended a memorial service before these people were buried.
 
About an hour ago, the entire political leadership of Italy, the prime minister and party leaders were in a Basilica in Rome where a national memorial service was held for the six Italians who died in Afghanistan recently.
 
It becomes really a matter of pain that incidents that deserve formal statements from our government are not considered; there is usually no statement. So, I would like to implore you to treat the loss of the lives of our soldiers in Somalia with the dignity it deserves.
 
At that time, Madam Deputy Speaker was chairing the House, I remember she said that we, as Parliament, authorised the deployment of these soldiers to Somalia and that it was important that when they die from there they are recognised formally not only by Parliament, but also by a statement from government to reflect that national recognition. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much and sorry about what happened. Your Excellency the Vice-President, you are most welcome.
 
The point that the Leader of the Opposition has been talking about is about the casualty that was faced by our troops in Somalia. He is of the view that an official statement about this matter from government should be given.
 
2.48
THE PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS (Prof. Apolo Nsibambi): Mr Speaker and hon. Members of Parliament, that is a good suggestion by hon. Prof. Latigo, whom we have been missing. However, I would like to say that we shall discuss that matter in Cabinet after which we shall take appropriate action; it is a good proposal. I thank you.
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is a matter that has seen us lose our sons. But must we go to Cabinet each time it happens? Isnt there a policy? I thought there is a government policy to the effect that when we lose our soldiers, this and that is done. Is it a matter of going to the Cabinet every now and then? Thank you.
 
PROF. NSIBAMBI: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to say that even if there was a policy, there is nothing wrong with discussing such a matter of grave nature in Cabinet. As you know, this is a very grave matter, but Cabinet is meeting on Wednesday. I do not see anything wrong with it; I do not.
 
THE SPEAKER: So, can we take it that maybe after Wednesday an appropriate statement will be made to the House? Okay, I think we should proceed with business because it was our agreement on Thursday that we do not sit on Friday, but that we compensate that Friday with Monday. I know that it was likely that Monday would not be Idi El Fitri. Now that Idi El Fitri took place yesterday, Sunday, that is why we are here today; it is just in agreement to the arrangements of Thursday. Can we proceed?
 
BILLS
COMMITTEE STAGE
 
THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL, 20009
 
Clause 1
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question that clause 1 stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 1, agreed to.
 
Clause 2
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I put the question that clause 2 stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 2, agreed to.
 
Clause 3
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question that clause 3 stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 3, agreed to.
 
Clause 4
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, on clause 4, we propose that section 67 be deleted from the Bill. The justification is that that section is not necessary because all officers of URA are under the control and direction of the Commissioner-General who is already vested with powers of delegation under the Uganda Revenue Authority Act, Cap 196. I beg to move.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Is that clear? Yes, hon. Minister.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, I agree with the chairperson of the committee; the Commissioner-General has got the powers to delegate any staff under her supervision. However, I would like to say that this clause was meant to harmonise clause 156 of the Income Tax Act, which provides for delegation of powers.
 
Let me also add that the Commissioner-General has got a very big task. She has got to collect taxes from all the borders and from within the country. So, she cannot be everywhere all the time. That is why we had proposed that she delegates some of her powers, where she finds it necessary, to some of the officers under her supervision to act in her capacity. I beg to move, Mr Chairman.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, we wish to agree with the committees position because it has laboured to explain and compare with the framework of other Acts including the Auditor-Generals Act where the Auditor-General is referred to personally, though it does not mean that as a person, the Auditor-General can be everywhere. He operates under systems and structures.
 
So, the intention of this is to keep the focus of responsibility on the person of the Auditor-General. So, in this case, we think that we should leave the Commissioner-Generals position the way it has been proposed by the committee; we delete clause 4.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: What would be the mischief in having this provision in this specific Act? I am asking that because your reasoning is that the general provisions in the Uganda Revenue Authority Act provide  but I think you are dealing with a specific Act. Is there are any harm in repeating what is in the other law?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, we are dealing with VAT, a tax that is indirect. When dealing with such a tax, it presupposes that assuming somebody is in Bushenyi, where I come from 
 
THE CHAIRMAN: No, my question is that from your reasoning is it that in the Uganda Revenue Authority Act, the Commissioner-General has powers to delegate and that therefore it is not necessary to have such in this law? But I am also asking whether there is any harm in having the powers catered for under this law. I am saying this because we are dealing with a specific Act, which is independent.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, the harm is that when a duty is delegated, whatever that staff does will not be questioned by the commissioner. What we are saying is that we should have a system that allows consultation until the Commissioner-General supports what her staff will have done.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Does that negate the general provisions? I am saying this because your reasoning, as I gathered, is to the effect that it is not necessary because the Uganda Revenue Authority Act, which is the general Act, gives the powers and, therefore, it is not necessary to have this provision. Okay, hon. Nandala-Mafabi.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, the VAT Act has been in place since 1996. That means the officers under the URA Act have been doing work on behalf of the Commissioner-General. That is very clear under clause 56, which talks about failure to provide assistance, filing returns and assessments.
 
Since the law was put in place, there has been no problem relating to delegation. But our argument looks at what that particular clause is supposed to cure. We are saying that if you need people to understand this law, can you demonstrate what you want?
 
And I would like to report that the minister, through her officers, agreed that at a later stage she would demonstrate that. When she said that, we agreed that we put this aside until she does so. Otherwise, as the law is, VAT delegation is already catered for. Handling assessments is also already catered for  the Commissioner-General does not do every work in every district.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: No, the problem is that if somebody has got a problem with VAT and you want to tell that person to also read the URA Act to know the powers, among others, can you help him with the specific Act where his complaint is? Isnt it easier that way, because now you will have to consult two Acts? That is my guidance.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Thank you, Mr Chairman. There is already a precedent in the Income Tax Act, which I have already referred to. And again the Commissioner-General is being challenged in court time and again especially with regard to VAT under delegation under the general provisions. That is why we found it appropriate to make the delegation of powers in this Act specific and clear to cure any ambiguities, which have been existing.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Before hon. Okello-Okello comes in, please allow me to report that in the distinguished strangers gallery this afternoon we have Members of Parliament from Southern Sudan. They have come to observe what is being done here. Hon. Members, you are welcome to the Parliament of Uganda. (Applause)
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. VAT is a matter, which is affecting me directly at the moment. I have some officers from URA who are dealing with me on VAT matters. They have been delegated by the Commissioner-General. So, without this provision, delegation has been going on.
 
In practice, delegation does not have to be provided by law. A good officer should know what power, duties, and responsibilities to delegate so that that person does not do everything alone. We do not have to provide for that in the law.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: To make people understand your position on this, what is the mischief you are trying to cure by saying, Do not repeat what you have repeated there?
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Mr Chairman, I think if we are to provide for this delegation, then the powers to be delegated should be specified. If you dont then you will get into problems.
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: The idea of bringing in elements that are in specific laws regarding duties and responsibilities in the budget process is that it diverts what this process is about. This VAT (Amendment) Act is specific and will put legal effect to what you propose, Madam Minister, in your policy and financial position. It has nothing to do with the duties of the Commissioner-General. Therefore, putting it there really diverts Parliament from the process of budgeting, which is what we are doing. We are not enacting a law to administer VAT. We are merely providing how you specify what will be VAT (Interruption)
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, the amendment we are handling is for creating efficiency in management and administration of VAT. So, it is not irrelevant at this point in time when we are talking about VAT to discuss the implementation modalities and efficiency required to implement VAT. Thank you.
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: That is precisely the mischief that your amendment brings; bringing something else that bears very little relevance to what we are doing. We are budgeting; it is just so simple.
 
But the point I want to make is what you said. You said that the Commissioner-General has been challenged in court. Did she lose any of the cases on account of the absence of this provision in any of the previous in the VAT (Amendment) Act? Where any cases lost so that you need to bring it here so that you will never lose a case?
 
MR MUSUMBA: Mr Chairman, I think the problem that some honourable members of parliament seem to find with this amendment is in the phrasing of the amendment. Because the amendment is saying, The Commissioner-General may delegate to any officer of the Uganda Revenue Authority any duty, power or function conferred or imposed under this section.
 
I think it may be necessary to re-cast this amendment because if you went to Masaka and you found a VAT officer, are you going to start by asking the VAT officer what powers have been delegated to him or her and to what extent?
 
Secondly, the relationship between the delegation and the principle; I see that this is an important provision but maybe it creates uncertainty in the minds of the taxpayer as to exactly the quantum of power and how it should be handled.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: In this inclusion, the Opposition is not talking about re-casting but the principle of bringing this provision, which is catered for in the general law. Do you think this has any meaning, because if the principle is not founded the question of re-casting does not arise?
 
MR MUSUMBA: In my view, Mr Chairman, the principle is alright. It is okay for the VAT statute to define its own management; the form in which it is going to be managed because that is the purpose of the VAT statute anyway, but there is fear.
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: Thank you very much. I would like to thank the minister and the chairperson. If I could buy the ministers argument for supporting this clause; he said that the Commissioner-General has been sued, but the last part of the clause, which says, Other than powers to compound offences& so if officers cannot compound offences, I do not see where the problem arises because I realise that the general law of Uganda Revenue Authority caters for this.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, I want to inform my colleague, hon. Nsubuga that the Income Tax Act, in fact the whole Act, talks about the commissioner and at the end it talks about delegation. But as regards the VAT Act, where it needs an officer, it states, commissioner or an officer. It is very clear and that is why in the Income Tax Act, it specifies in the clause that the commissioner may delegate but for the VAT Act, it is very clear what they want the officer to do and what the commissioner herself or himself should do. So, there is no need for this amendment.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: So, there is no need to delegate because as you say, it is covered?
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: It is already here.
 
MR KAKOOZA: Thank you. According to me we currently have a law which is guided by the Customs Management Act. When you read section 9 of the Customs Management Act, any officer who is working in the Uganda Revenue Authority is acting on behalf of the Commissioner-General. It is clear unless it has been changed.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: So you are saying that this is redundant?
 
MR KAKOOZA: It is redundant.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: So, let us put the question. The committee is proposing a deletion. I put the question. Let me put the question again. Can I repeat the question? Do you want to withdraw your provision, minister?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, in view of the discussions which have come up on the Floor, I will temporarily withdraw this amendment and present it next year. (Laughter) I thank you.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: So, the provision is deleted. I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, clause 4 also had 67(b), there are two; we have only pronounced ourselves on 67(a). 67(b) should also be deleted and the justification is 67(b) is bad for the law because it would compromise the mandate of the Judiciary in handling matters involving URA, suffocate the citizens right to information, defeat the rules of evidence and encourage arbitrary tax assessment by URA. I beg to move.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, after a long discussion and persuasion from the committee, I concede to the proposal. (Applause)
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question that clause 4, as amended, stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.
 
Clause 5
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Clause 5(c)(v) on page 6, we propose to amend by adding the word, new immediately before the word, computers. Justification: To harmonise with the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill. So, it will read, Supply of new computers, desktops, printers, computer parts and accessories. I beg to move.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, I have no problem with the amendment.
 
MR ODUMAN: We agree with the amendments by the committee but we would like to introduce an additional amendment.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, let us dispose of this amendment and then you can bring a new amendment. I put the question on -
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, if you are introducing the word, new on computers -
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought you are a member of the committee?
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Yes, I am but I am on the same amendment. What about the printers? Would the printers be new or old? If you are applying new, it should apply to all of them. Otherwise, the moment you put this on only a few items, a person will bring a second hand printer and say the law does not apply to it.
 
MRS BBUMBA: I welcome the amendment by hon. Nandala-Mafabi to apply, new to all the parts. Thank you.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to the proposed amendment.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
MR ODUMAN: On the same clause 5(c), as amended, we would like to introduce another amendment at the end of clause 5(c)(v) where we want to add at the end of the sentence, and mobile phones.
 
Clause 5(c), as amended, now reads, Supply of new computers, desktops, printers, computer parts and accessories, and we are saying, & and new mobile phones.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, the shadow minister has given a proposal but he has not given the justification and the financial implications of that amendment.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: But didnt we debate this matter last time? I remember we debated this matter and the principle behind was appreciated by all concerned. But I think their reservation was about the implications on the current financial budget. Their position was that let it be considered in next years budget.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, just to refresh the memory of the Members, our justification then was that when we talk about exception from computers, we made a justification that a mobile phone is a computer itself; in fact, it is more than a computer. Therefore, we are trying to bring in more people into the tax bracket. We are actually widening the tax base. We are saying that if you make mobile phones cheaper, then people will move on to the mobile phone networks. People in the village require phones. The point we made was that when you reduce the price of phones - the demand for phones is sensitive to price. Therefore, the moment you reduce slightly on the price of the phones, there will be many more people buying them.
 
Where is the money going to get lost from; the money is not going to get lost. We provided a justification and a calculation in Appendix 1 and we showed you when you exempt a phone of Shs 40,000 how you are going to save Shs 17,898 on one mobile handset. Mr Chairman, if you exempt tax on a handset, you are only losing VAT of 18 percent but when the person hooks on the line, you are going to charge airtime consumed by that person at the rate of 18 percent VAT and 12 percent of excise duty. That is a total of 30 percent.
 
In this case, we provided to you that assuming a villager uses airtime of Shs 2,000 only; that means that by the end of the financial year, you are getting double the benefit of that exception. This is in line with the principle of widening the tax base. There might be an argument that they might not have money to call. But again, Mr Chairman, if we are beeped by our constituents in the village, we have the responsibility to call and when we call, we are paying tax on behalf of that person we are calling. The benefit is that those people there, should they have problems at night and they need to call a doctor or if it is time for delivery of ones sister, they can call a doctor.
 
So on the tax aspect, we justify that the reduction on the price as a result of removal of VAT is going to result into increased connectivity and there will be a greater return in tax revenue accruing to the airtime. That was our justification.
 
MR EKANYA: Mr Chairman, we had consultations and I thought the minister was going to come to the Floor to say that this is a good proposal and we are going to start it next year. We need classification. I came from China recently where I bought a phone worth US $600 but when I reached here, it fell down and could not work anymore. So we want the minister to come up with standard classification and so on. We insist that the minister reassures us that starting October and November, we are going to incorporate all proposals from our shadow minister so that our poor people in this country can own mobile phones.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, I would like to thank my two colleagues for their submissions. As hon. Ekanya rightly said, we agreed in the committee; we received the proposals and we are going to consider them. This is a highly involving subject which we could not do justice to in the few sessions we had in the committee. It requires thorough study to come up with an integrated approach not only on the cost of taxes but also the standard required on the phones.
 
As hon. Ekanya said, there are many phones sold in town but when one uses it once or twice, it breaks down and he does not get a refund from the seller and there is no guarantee. So I would beg the colleague that we defer this now and I have already promised my counterpart starting next month that we are going to start building up a case for their proposal.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: So you want to go on record promising that this matter will be handled next time?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Yes, we will consider it next time, Sir.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, in the past we have made proposals in good faith and agreed that they would come up the following financial year. Our concern has been that some and most of those proposals have ended up dying on the way. But since the minister has said it and it is on record that next financial year it must be on board, then they will have to be held responsible for it.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question that clause 5 as amended stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, I have a proposal on 5(b) and others  I have a proposal as argued last time in our report. It is not in the committee report and I pledge that 
 
THE CHAIRMAN: What we can do, because we have closed, let us go and then you can recommit; that is the procedure. Having pronounced ourselves on clause 5 as amended, then that is the only solution - if it is necessary.
 
MOTION FOR THE HOUSE TO RESUME
 

3.24

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Chairman, I beg to move that the House do resume and the Committee of the whole House reports thereto.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(The House resumed, the Speaker presiding.)
 
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
3.25
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the Bill entitled the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2009 and passed it with amendments.
 
MOTION FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
3.25
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Ms Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the report from the Committee of the whole House be adopted.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I now put the question to the motion.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(Report adopted.)
 
BILLS
THIRD READING
 
THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2009
 

3.26

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2009 be read a third time and do pass. I beg to move.
 
MR ODUMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the indulgence. We earlier said that we have an amendment on clause 5(2)(b) and two others. On 5(2)(b), we wish to add at the end of the clause where it talks about substituting 
 
THE SPEAKER: I think what you should do is to first of all move a motion for recommittal and justify why you want to recommit.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2009 be recommitted to consider 5(b) and introduce two more amendments. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, the motion is that we recommit the Bill to reconsider clause 5(b).
 
(Question put and negatived.)
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The emphatic response of nays and ayes reminds me of 1967 when a new constitution was introduced and one member from the mountains, hon. Nandalas constituency, said, I have not looked at the constitution but I support it 100 percent. The honourable member requested that he introduces an amendment; he has not even introduced the amendment!
 
THE SPEAKER: Okay, I put the question for recommittal of the House.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
BILLS
COMMITTEE STAGE
 
THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2009
 

3.28

THE CHAIRMAN: But I would like to advise you, hon. Members, that if you have an amendment to move, you should put it in writing so that Members  okay you have it; but I do not have a copy. Let us see your amendment.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, we propose that we amend clause 5(b); that is under paragraph 13(b) of our report. We suggest that at the end of 5(b), which amends clause 1(a), at the end, after the words, health sectors, we move it to the third schedule of zero rated supplies. Clause 5(b); at the end of the proposal, let us move that to the third schedule of zero rated supplies.
 
The impact of that is to make these supplies zero rated rather than making them tax exempted. We argued our case last time in the report. The argument is that when you make these supplies tax exempt, the suppliers of these services will not be able to utilize the full amount of import tax that they may have incurred because when you make them zero rated, it opens up that credit of import tax available for the supplier to use towards balancing his income tax return. The impact of that is that the invoicing and the charging for those services will reduce because that credit will be available for the supplier. It will go ahead to reduce the cost of building roads and that will be a benefit for the taxpayer.
 
So we are saying, and it is a simple addition, that rather than keeping that paragraph in schedule 2 of tax exempt supplies, we want it moved to schedule 3 of zero-rated supplies so that we achieve a cheaper cost of construction and ease the cost of road construction for the taxpayer. I thank you, Mr Chairman.
 
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Chairman, my good friend on the other side already presented this; we discussed it before and I thought I had convinced him but now that he has brought it up again, I will repeat what I told him earlier.
 
What is being proposed has got revenue implications and touching on the revenue side now means that we have got to un-bundle the expenditure, which we have just passed.
 
Secondly, this proposal has got administrative implications. There are lots of chances of this being abused. That is why I am strongly opposing the amendment by my good friend and I would like to request the whole House to oppose this amendment. I thank you.
 
MR BANYENZAKI: Mr Chairman, this issue was before us in the committee and hon. Oduman is a member of this committee. We rejected it and at the time when we rejected it he did not come up to say, Let me come up with a minority report. If we tolerate this method of work here - I think hon. Oduman needs to respect the method of work and withdraw his amendment so that we move on because we discussed this thoroughly in the committee.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and negatived.)
 
The Title
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Chairman, as I said earlier, I have two additional amendments. One is to replace section 28(10) of the principal Act, which reads as follows -
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought the recommittal was on 5; it cannot be open-ended. We specifically came for 5  No!
 
MOTION FOR THE HOUSE TO RESUME
 
3.37
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Chairman, I beg to move that the House do resume and the Committee of the whole House reports thereto.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(The House resumed, the Speaker presiding.)
 
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
3.37
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the amendment, which was recommitted and it has not been passed.
 
MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF THE REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
3.38
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the report from the Committee of the whole House be adopted.
 
THE SPEAKER: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(Report adopted.)
 
BILLS
THIRD READING
 
THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2009
 
3.38
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2009 be read the third time and do pass. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I now put the question that the Bill entitled the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2009 be read the third time and do pass.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, THE VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2009
 
 
THE SPEAKER: I have to comment on this issue of recommittal: when a Member wants a recommittal it comes when there is a motion to have the Bill read the third time and do pass. You come in before we pronounce ourselves. And when you ask for a recommittal you are specific and you must state the provisions of the Bill, which you want to be recommitted. When this is done and we are at the recommittal stage, you cannot introduce another clause, which was not in your motion. I hope I am clear. (Laughter) Thank you very much.
 
BILLS
SECOND READING
 
THE FINANCE BILL, 2009
 
3.40
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 be read for the second time. I beg to move. Yes, Chairman.
 
3.40
THE CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Gaudioso Tindamanyire): Mr Speaker, this is the report of the committee on the Finance Bill.
 
Introduction
 
The Finance Bill, 2009 was laid on the Table on 8 July 2009 and referred to the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development for scrutiny. The committee has accordingly scrutinised the Bill and now wishes to report its findings to the House.
 
The Method of Work
 
The committee held meetings with the following:
ˇ   The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and her technical staff;
ˇ   The Minister of Water, Lands and Environment;
ˇ   The Minister of ICT and his technical team; and
ˇ   The Committee on Natural Resources.
 
The committee also received memoranda and held meetings with the following petitioners:
ˇ   DIREE, an organisation of importers, traders and dealers in reconditioned electrical equipment.
ˇ   Uganda Electronic and Technicians Association.
ˇ   Interconnection Uganda - dealers in used computers.
ˇ   Luwuka Plastics Ltd - manufacturers of flexible packaging materials.
 
The committee in addition made reference to the principal Finance Act, 1999, the background to the Budget 2009, the Budget Speech and other related literature.
 
I would like to lay the minutes of all our proceedings on the Table.
 
The Object of the Bill
 
The object of the Bill is to prohibit the importation of used refrigerators, freezers, computers and television sets;
 
Prohibition of the importation, local manufacturing, sale or use of polythene bags;
 
Prohibition of export of scrap metal; and
 
Amend the Finance Act, 2006 No. 32 of 2006 and No. 5 to provide for related matters.
 
Clauses in brief:
ˇ   Clause 1 provides for the commencement date of the measures in the Bill. It will come into force on the 1st July 2009 or as otherwise specified in the Bill.
 
ˇ   Clause 2 proposes to ban the importation of used refrigerators, freezers, computers and televisions. For transitional arrangements, importers and stockists of these used items have been allowed to clear and sell them before the 1st of October 2009. The purpose of this ban is to discourage the dumping here of these used items, which are currently imported en mass.
 
ˇ   Clause 3 proposes to amend the Finance Act, 2006 by prohibiting importation, manufacture, sale or use of polythene carrier bags. The purpose of this prohibition is to protect the environment because polythene materials do not readily break down, decompose or degrade in the normal environment. As a result, their effect is cumulative.
 
ˇ   Clause 4 proposes to ban export of scrap of all kind of material. The purpose of this prohibition is to enable the local steel manufacturers to access raw materials. Scrap materials have been exported and yet Uganda imports finished steel for our construction industry at high prices. Uganda currently has four steel manufacturing industries. Other East African partner states have equally banned the exportation of scrap.
 
ˇ   Clause 5, paragraph (a) of the Bill substitutes the First Schedule of the Finance Act, 2006. The First Schedule contains fees charged on various transactions relating to motor vehicles. Although not all fees have been adjusted upwards, the whole schedule has been reproduced to ease administration; the purpose of adjusting the fees is to generate revenue. The projected revenue from the adjustment is Shs 30 billion.
 
ˇ   Paragraph (b) of the Bill amends the Second Schedule of the Finance Act, 2006; the schedule has environment levy imposed on used goods. The levy has been revised upwards.
 
Concerns of the Petitioners
 
1. Polythene Bags:
According to the petitioners, the ban will lead to closure of manufacturing businesses in plastic sectors; over 19 companies have been registered with UMA. In both direct and indirect employment, according to UMA, over 290 who are employed in those companies. Loss of revenue from government from closed companies and reduced sales, UMA puts this at about Shs 10 billion annually.
 
Relocation of companies to other countries, smuggling of plastics from neighbouring countries, inflationary pressures due to increase of packaging materials for essential goods.
 
In view of the above, they asked to be given a time framework to upgrade to bio-degradable polythene.
 
2. Used Fridges and Freezers:
The petitioners argue that the fridge industry currently employs over 3,500 people nationwide. Most Ugandans cannot afford new fridges for both business and commercial use. This implies that low income earners selling milk, juice, water and fruits in kiosks will be affected. Instead of the already banned old fragrant gas made of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), gas made from hydrochloric carbons (HFSCs), which is used in second hand and new fridges currently imported to Uganda, is accepted and widely used globally.
 
Sixty percent to 70 percent of all used fridges, freezers imported in Uganda currently use the new type of refrigerant R600A, which is completely free from the ozone depleting chemicals.
 
In view of the above, they requested to be given a chance to bring in environmentally friendly fridges and freezers.
 
3. Used Computers:
The petitioners are of the view that used computers are brought by schools, internet café operators, students, high institutions of learning and the majority are private individuals.
 
A new computer costs Shs 2.375 million while an old one costs around Shs 350,000. There are cheaper computers on the market called clones; these have a lifespan of about a year. Forty percent of the computers imported today use flat screens, thin film, translator liquid display which are environmentally friendly and consume little powder. Used computers with similar components to those in newer models are environmentally friendly, equally reliable, and affordable.
 
In view of the above, they requested to be given a chance to bring in environmentally friendly computers.
 
Response from the Ministers, NEMA and Natural Resources Committee
 
I will begin with the Minister of Information and Technology. The minister informed the committee that government is committed to the ban. He noted that Uganda is being used as a dumping ground by developed countries and yet we do not have capacity to dispose the E-waste. He emphasised that this waste can be hazardous, dangerous to humans and a security risk. There is also no capacity for recycling these computers.
 
He further informed the committee that government plans to distribute free computers to government-aided schools.
 
It will also ensure that computers are assembled locally at affordable prices.
 
He summed up by noting that the National Information Technology Authority is being put in place, among others, to handle maintenance standards in this sector.
 
The Minister of Water, Lands and Environment noted that the environment has been terribly degraded. She was, however, of the view that the ban is not implementable. She reminded the committee that the previous ban had failed to work and needed to be evaluated. The minister was of the opinion that the entire issue of plastics be objectively studied to establish its threats and opportunities. She recommends that a solid waste system be put in place to promote a clean environment mechanism.
 
She informed the committee that Rwanda, that had previously banned the use of polythene, is reintroducing it under strict guidelines. She provided the committee with the proposed Bill from Rwanda. I would like to lay on the Table what the minister presented as a revised Bill from Rwanda.
 
National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
 
This committee sought the views of NEMA and they are summarised as follows:
 
In regard to used computers, NEMA is of the view that there is no capacity to differentiate between working second-hand computers and condemned ones at the point of entry into this country. They noted that this has escalated the rate of dumping of e-waste into this country. They further stated that there is evidence that most of the used computers that have been donated to schools do not function for long before breaking down.
 
NEMA also commented on used freezers and refrigerators. According to NEMA, RI 34 and R600 HFC gas refrigerants, which the petitioners claimed to be used globally, are currently used as an intermediate measure. According to the Montreal Protocol, by January 1st 2010, they will have been phased out.
 
Natural Resources Committee
 
The committee was of the view that used computers, freezers, refrigerators and polythene be banned as provided for in the Bill because Uganda is being used as a dumping ground. They argued that the cost of environmental degradation surpasses its benefits and it is estimated at Shs 230 billion per annum.
 
They further noted that Parliament has pronounced itself several times regarding the ban. The committee has, in addition, made numerous recommendations during presentations on ministerial policy statements.
 
Observations by Members
 
1.  Uganda is a signatory to several protocols relating to the environment. It is, therefore, important to ensure that they are domesticated.
 
2.  Polythene has been very destructive to the environment. It is responsible for clogging sewerage systems and polluting water bodies among others.
 
3.  Apart from Uganda, which pronounced itself on the issue of used computers and fridges by proposing to ban their importation, there is no pronouncement on banning of these goods in other member states of the East African Community.
 
4.  It may not be possible to implement a total ban on kaveera as it is used for building, flowers, packing foods in industries and pharmaceuticals.
 
5.  Other East African countries have not effected a total ban on polythene. This provides an avenue for smuggling since Uganda only produces about 20 percent of the polythene and 80 percent is imported.
 
6.  Rwanda, that had banned the polythene, is considering removing the ban under strict guidelines.
 
7.  There is no policy on polythene. A policy should normally come in place before a law.
 
8.  There are no incentives that have been put in place to facilitate the ban. That is, those making paper bags should be promoted and taxes should be reduced on new fridges.
 
9.  The ban was done abruptly without any sensitisation or preparation. Both the suppliers and consumers of the goods need to be prepared since some suppliers are operating using loans.
 
10.  Even new computers eventually wear out. As such, what is needed most is an e-waste disposal mechanism. Currently, Uganda has only one incinerator at Nakasongola.
 
Recommendations
 
In view of the above, the committee recommends the following:
 
1.  Government plans for e-waste management and recycling systems to mitigate environmental problems that may in future escalate from disposal of e-waste.
 
2.  In line with the Montreal Protocol, the ban on used computers, fridges and polythene should be upheld, but government should consider extending the grace period to 31st March 2010 to allow traders to adjust to other lines of business.
 
3.  Factories that are reproducing biodegradable plastics should be encouraged and facilitated to continue.
 
Mr Speaker and hon. Members, I beg to report.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairman of the committee, for the report.
 
3.57
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Chairman and the Committee on Finance, as well as the Committee on Natural Resources, for the details and the time they took to study this subject in order to come up with this report.
 
On the ban on polythene and carrier bags, currently production of carrier bags is about 900 tonnes per month with a total investment of US $10 million. Investment in carrier bags is about US $2 million and importation of carrier bags is projected at 25,000 tonnes per month. We do not know the exact amount because there is smuggling.
 
A total of about 900 tonnes is generated as plastic waste everyday and about one million plastic bags in waste is being added to the environment annually.
 
Since 1991, government has used economic incentives to phase out plastic bags in order to protect the environment while allowing manufacturers to adjust progressively. I disagree with those who are saying that the decision has been abrupt. Since 2003, we have been debating this subject so we have had six long years to make adjustments.
 
The use of economic instruments to encourage re-use, recycling and use of environmentally-friendly packaging materials has not had the envisaged impact. Retail shops and supermarkets continue to give out free plastic bags with no incentive for re-use and protection of the environment.
 
Recently, I went to one big supermarket for my home shopping and they gave me a whole heap of buveera, packing one or two items separately. I told them I was not going to take them and refused to. I told them I am not taking the buveera and was going to take my shopping undressed. This was one of the biggest supermarkets in the country, and it did not have any alternative and, therefore, no incentive to wean people off the buveera.
 
Why are we asking for the total ban? Plastic bags do not readily break down, degrade or decompose in the environment. They take between 20 and 1,000 years to break down. This causes soil degradation by reducing water permeability and air exchange in the soil, which makes the soil unsuitable for plant growth. Since we are promoting agriculture and want to enhance agricultural productivity, the two are not commensurate.
 
For example, approximately 39,600 tonnes of polythene waste are released into the environment. Most of the waste accumulates in the soil every year, leading to degradation of about 2,800 acres of land per year. So, within the next 20 or 30 years, the entire country will be totally degraded; implying that about 1,400 homesteads - if you consider an average of two acres per family holding - are denied productive land annually due to land degradation caused by buveera waste.
 
Buveera increase soil impermeability particularly in urban centres. This limits water infiltration and consequently increases the volume of run-off beyond the holding capacity of the urban drainage system, leading to destruction of infrastructure. This is common in Kampala because whenever it rains, certain parts are flooded. The Clock Tower is one of those and many others. Two weeks ago, Najjanankumbi became impassable after just one rain shower because the water could not sink into the ground.
 
Polythene bags also block drainage systems, leading to flooding and massive spills of sewage, especially in urban areas. Bwaise is a case in point. There is even a saying that you can only say water is life if you do not live in Bwaise.
 
Polythene bags, used as mobile toilets sometimes, and dumped near households, are safe havens for breeding mosquitoes and a potential cause of cholera and dysentery. Water stagnation in a poorly-dumped kaveera is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes, increasing Malaria prevalence, particularly in poorly-planned settlements. Uganda is not free of these poorly-planned settlements. This has increased the prevalence of environmentally-related diseases like Cholera, Malaria and Dysentery.
 
Using plastics for covering hot food releases fumes into the food that cause cancer, diabetes, liver and heart diseases.
 
When burnt, plastics release toxic gases into the atmosphere called furans and dioxins, which cause cancer, hypertension and diabetes among other diseases.
 
Farm animals, especially cattle, die due to indigestion when they swallow polythene bags. Aquatic life is threatened through entanglement, suffocation and ingestion, thereby hurting the fishing industry.
 
On the alternatives to polythene bags, it is envisaged that a total ban on use of plastic bags will create business opportunities for production and importation of environmentally-friendly materials.
 
The ban will increase employment for many young groups and youths who are engaged in making cloth, bags and crafts, especially in the rural areas, thus contributing to Prosperity-for-All while protecting our environment.
 
The introduction of the carrier buveera bags is a new innovation. Those of us who have been around for some time never had these when we were growing up (Interjections)- yes, we used to carry our things in cotton bags -(Applause)- in sisal bags and in many other types of bags. The raw materials for these bags are available.
 
As I have already stated, the ban will increase employment. Alternatives to plastic bags include paper bags and wicker bags. We do not have a shortage for making paper bags. All green cellulose materials can be used for making paper bags; wicker baskets called bisero; bags made from banana fibre; trees plus textiles such as cotton and sisal. I still remember those days when I used to carry my cotton bag on my head with a string and it would hang on my back.
 
Incentives will be extended to those who will be involved in the manufacture and importation of environmentally-friendly bio-degradable materials.
 
Exceptional use of plastic bags: while we are talking about total ban, polythene bags cannot be banned in some areas because of their specialised nature. Critical sectors of the economy such as industrial packing, agricultural use, importing materials, medical use, hospital, sanitary and waste collection use that are water-based and essential items with no immediate alternatives will be exempted. This also includes export of fish. And if it is export, it is not our problem; so we do not mind. Those can be used. The list and framework for management of exceptional use will be elaborated in the statutory instrument.
 
On the issue of management of other plastics, management of all plastic waste is critical to ensure a clean and healthy environment. An integrated framework involving government and the private sector has been prepared to deal with plastic waste. This includes sustained public awareness about responsible use and disposal of plastics and incentives for recycling. An environmental levy of US $50 will be imposed per tonne on plastics produced or imported. The levies will contribute to the NEMA Fund.
 
The ban on buveera and promotion of locally made alternatives will not only ensure environmental benefits but will also create a great opportunity for generation of more employment and alleviation of poverty, especially in the rural areas where these raw materials are found.
 
On the ban of old computers, which is under electronic waste control - the ICT industry is one of the fastest growing and highly dynamic industries and generates electronic waste. The life span of computers and phones has considerably reduced with growing innovations in the industry, and these are disposed of easily by the developed economies to developing economies like ours.
 
E-waste is a generic term embracing various forms of electric and electronic equipment that have ceased to be of any value to their owners. On average, 24,000 new and 3,000 old computers are imported into the country annually.
 
Why are we proposing a ban on computers? The major issue as to why importation of new computers must be banned is its systematic dumping in the developing countries by developed countries mainly due to high costs of e-waste treatment, which makes it cheaper to dump in developing countries. This is not likely to end because the computer is now a gadget in every home and every five years or so, there will be a computer being disposed of. The net effect of importing such waste is serious heavy metal pollution of soils, plants, surface and ground water around the country at sites of e-waste disposal and dumping, which raises concern as it has potential human health implications, which I have alluded to like cancer, abortion and loss of intelligence in children.
 
It also suffocates and limits the area of software development as the majority of the imported, refurbished computers cannot handle intense software development of the applications. Importation of refurbished computers will, therefore, in the long-run limit Ugandas export potential in the ICT sector and even innovation.
 
Even though new computers will finally require disposal at the end of their life, the rate of turnover and accumulation of waste is not comparable to the inflows of used computers and their useful life.
 
The useful life of new computers is more than five years and the old ones hardly last six months. It is for this reason that most of the dealers in the old items have back door work shops where they attempt to revamp these computers before putting them on the market. There is no shop operator dealing in old computers who does not have a work shop because they do not last and, therefore, they are a high cost to the users.
 
Uganda is a signatory to international conventions and is mandated to implement them. Some of them have already been alluded to by the chairperson of the committee, but for emphasis, I will repeat them:
 
The Basel Convention on Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Chemicals; the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; the UN Framework Convention on Climatic Change; the Kyoto Protocol; and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
 
On the proposed ban of old fridges and freezers, Uganda has since 1988 been party to both the Vienna Convention on the Protocol of the Ozone Layer and Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Uganda by being a party to the conventions I have referred to is under obligation to comply with them. It is against this background that the Government of Uganda restricts importation of Chlorofluorocarbons  I will abbreviate them as CFCs. It is not a Budget Speech. I am clarifying (Interjections)- no, this is my justification (Interruption)
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: The minister has said very good things. Is it really procedurally right for her to continue talking when we do not have copies of those good things? (Laughter) 
 
MRS BBUMBA: These are my speaking notes.
 
THE SPEAKER: Well, you have five minutes to conclude.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. These are my speaking notes and I think I have made the point for the ban of the fridges, the freezers and all the e-waste.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think the main thrust of the debate is about the loss of jobs and loss of investments. Maybe you should concentrate on that. What will be the substitute for the jobs lost and so forth?
 
MRS BBUMBA: First of all, on managing the current waste and the waste we build up from new items, NEMA is in the process of setting up regional incinerators, which will help in the cleaning up of the existing stock piles and e-waste that will be generated. The chairman mentioned that we have only one incinerator in Nakasongola District and even this one is not multi-purpose. So, we are planning in the medium term to set up regional ones, which will be multi-purpose.
 
In the long-run the ban will save Ugandas economy from the expenditure of cleaning the environment which the Committee of Natural Resources estimated at Shs 230 billion per annum and treatment of an ailing and productive population because from the presentation, it is clear that it causes sophisticated diseases.
 
It will save the economy from loss of revenue from export of agricultural products that would otherwise be rejected because of contamination, and also the under productivity because of degraded soils.
 
On the loss of jobs, we are proposing alternatives, which I have already mentioned  that is creating jobs for the youth, the women and other people in making environmentally friendly shopping bags. We have a lot of palms in this country  very strong, durable and re-usable baskets can be made out of these palms. The bikapu can be made from ensansa. The banana fibres are even rotting in the gardens and yet they can be used to produce baskets. Even the cotton we produce can be used to make re-usable bags. All these are going to create employment. We are going to have more work shops of our young people and women making these bags and overall, the anticipated number of jobs, which are going to be created, will far exceed the number of jobs which are going to be lost by the manufacturers.
 
I would like to say that we are not banning all plastics but we are just closing up a few lines. So, those people who have got plastic industries will continue, but one line will be closed. They will continue producing bags for planting materials, roofing and other materials. So, the loss of jobs is not up to the magnitude, which has been presented. But even if it were, the number of jobs which are going to be created outweigh what is likely to be lost.
 
I want to conclude by appealing to this very important House to support the proposal to ban the polythene bags  kaveera  and I would also like to request this important House to ban the importation of old fridges, computers, freezers and television sets. And I request that this happens sooner than later. Because of the dumping, we are told that there are quite a number of ships on the high seas carrying these waste materials looking for where they can dispose of them and at the same time make money out of them. The developed countries, the users and the manufacturers are busy disposing of them, but it is more expensive for them to do this in their countries than to ship them and send them to our countries.
 
Mr Speaker, I beg to move and I thank you.
 
4.18
THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Albert Oduman): Mr Speaker, we are largely going to agree with most of the things. Our statement is on page 2 of our response:
 
The Bans
 
We agree with the principles of the Bill. We have earlier argued elaborately about alternative policy responses regarding kaveera, refrigerators, freezers, computers and TV sets. We wish, however, to emphasise the following:
 
i.  The ban must be placed to save the environment.
 
ii.  The ban is necessary mainly as a result of governments failure to put in place recycling mechanisms. You will agree that in many countries, kaveera is not a problem, but you must have mechanisms. Those mechanisms should have been in place, but they were not there and that is why it is necessary to ban them now.
 
iii.  Government must ensure a smooth transition considering that:
a)  The National Information Technology Authority is not yet anchored. We need an authority already in place to do the regulatory mechanisms.
 
b)  Investors were allowed or licensed to sink money in this sector by the same government which is now banning kaveera. Hon. Minister, we wanted this to be on record and we suggest that somebody in NEMA who went ahead to license these additional projects after a ban was announced last year on that category be arrested. Anybody in NEMA who was involved in licensing projects that manufacture Kaveera in the category that was banned should be locked up.
 
c)  Over 5,000 jobs will go with the ban on plastics. We must have that on record.
 
d)  Government must, therefore, provide alternatives, as you have rightly said.
 
What are the alternatives? We need to see them sooner than later. While you say, hon. Minister, that the ban should be sooner than later, government must be cognisant of the responsibilities that were on its shoulders, which they did not fully operationalise.
 
Yes, we agree that the ban is not abrupt. But we are saying that if the role of government were to ensure that we licence projects in the category that is admissible in the law, what are we going to do with those investors that have sunk in money? Government will have a social and national responsibility to compensate that category of investors that were licensed by government, who are going to be affected financially by this ban.
 
It is not sufficient to regulate this matter through the Finance Bill. Last year we did the same but the provisions were very brief. How could it be enforced? A specific law is required for this so as to properly detail the regulatory mechanisms enforcement, penalties and regulations. That is why the earlier attempt failed. We agree with you on the ban, but we must own up to the shortfalls as government and provide mitigating mechanisms.
 
On the aspect of tax waivers, the committee has not mentioned this particular aspect, but it was mentioned in the Budget Speech. In the Financial Year 2008/2009, the government wrote off or waived various tax arrears from various entities due on or before 2002 and still outstanding by 30 June 2008. This waiver was included in the Finance Bill, 2008. Parliament debated and granted the waiver and during the debate, we demanded and we were given a schedule of the taxes that were due for waiving: VAT, Presumptive Tax, Rental Tax, Withholding Tax, Customs Tax, and Corporation Tax. We were given a schedule and we passed the Bill.
 
In the Financial Year 2007/2008, government waived VAT owed by local governments and it was again in the Finance Bill at that time, by considering them remitted. This was included in the Finance Bill, 2007. Parliament debated and granted the waiver (Interruption)
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: Mr Speaker, with due respect, we are dealing with the Finance Bill and my colleague has ably brought up his case, but when he talks about the tax waivers, he is actually debating the Budget. I would have loved that we consider the Finance Bill and the shadow minister can bring that case thereafter.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Speaker, having done that in 2008/2009, and having done the same in 2007/2008, this Financial Year 2009/2010, government has waived Income Tax and Value-Added Tax amounting to Shs 2.3 billion, provided tax exemptions to NGOs and paid taxes for hotel owners amounting to Shs 12.8 billion. However, this time, government has not included these matters and their details in the Finance Bill to enable the committee and Parliament debate and approve them. I beg that I just complete.
 
THE SPEAKER: Complete so that we dispose of this matter.
 
MR ODUMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. They now wish to unilaterally spend the money without the authority of this Parliament. That is the Shs 2.3 billion plus Shs 12.8 billion unilaterally without the authority of this Parliament. This omission is noted with exception and we suspect it is deliberate so as to bypass Parliament scrutiny owing to the running battles we had with them last financial year -
 
THE SPEAKER: What did you say when you made a statement to reply to his speech? Are you repeating what you said?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Speaker, as required under Article 52(i) of the Budget Act, under paragraph 116 of the Budget Speech, I laid on table copies of the tax waivers. Yes I did when I was presenting the budget. Is it in order for my good friend to stand up here and say that government is deliberately leaving out this information as if suggesting that government has something to hide in this? Is he in order?
 
THE SPEAKER: I think really, we are dealing with the Finance Bill and these black lines will tell you the policy we are following in this Bill. I would have imagined that a lot of what you have said should have been stated in your main speech, which you made in response to the Minister of Finance. The purposes of this Bill are here.
 
MR ODUMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We need to make our observations then maybe if it is a procedural matter, I think we can deal with it but our recommendations are: we agree with the principles of the ban; we agree also with the committee that we have a timeframe for these people to fold up and then; the proposed waivers and tax expenditures should be expressly disapproved by this Parliament until government comes with a clear request for parliamentary approval through a Bill. I thank you.
 
4.29
MR JOHN KIGYAGI (NRM, Mbarara Municipality, Mbarara): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to give my views on the Finance Bill and my first view is on the issues raised by  first of all, this country especially on the polythene bags, people should know that the spirit of this Bill is to ban the polythene bag carriers. This country imports 80 percent of its polythene bag carriers, only 20 percent are manufactured here. Even then, a further 10 percent is smuggled in, so in real effect we produce less than 10 percent of the polythene bags in this country.
 
Secondly, I wish the Minister of Water were here, but the Prime Minister is here. I put a question to this House and one of the answers and way forward the Minister of Water and Environment put forward while answering the question on this Floor, and it is in the Hansard, was that cabinet had agreed to the ban of polythene bag carriers. Her problem was the Ministry of Finance, which was dragging their feet. It is very surprising in her statement that she said that now she has changed her view, which means the answer she gave to this House was wrong. I think this is unprofessional and unfair and I do not even understand this conduct. It is unfortunate that she is not here; maybe the Prime Minister will explain for her.
 
I want to put it on record and clearly that Rwanda banned polythene bag carriers even before the law came in place. The law came in place in 2008 and they have not reviewed that law. What has happened is that they gave the Prime Minister authority in the law under their clause 3 to bring exceptions like what the Minster of Finance is proposing for those elements in housing, in packaging, and in the food industry. So it is not true; the Minister of Water and Environment lied to the committee that Rwanda had rescinded its law!
 
Thirdly, the bio-degradable polythene bags, which have been commended by the committee, I want to make it very clear and this nation and this House should hear: bio-degradable bags are made of polythene but they impregnate this polythene with some bio-gradable material. What happens is 
 
THE SPEAKER: Are you disagreeing with the recommendation of the committee?
 
MR KIGYAGI: Yes, the recommendation they have given on bio-gradable material is wrong because bio-degradable polythene bag carriers are more dangerous because what happens is that they impregnate them with bio-degradable material. When it disintegrates then the polythene remains in thin layer -
 
THE SPEAKER: Have you made research on those?
 
MR KIGYAGI: Yes, there is evidence; in thin layers and it becomes even more dangerous. You would rather have these which are not bio-degradable because you can see them, they cannot decompose and you can pick them out of the soil. So I would like to guide the committee that this recommendation was not fair.
 
Finally, it will go in the books of history that the Minister of Finance in the names of hon. Bbumba Syda has saved this country, has saved our environment by introducing an issue that for a long time - the Government of Uganda banned kaveera in 1992 but they put an administrative arrangement to halt it. The then Minister of Trade and Industry, hon. Richard Kaijuka, came and halted it so it could be reviewed. For a long time this has been known, we have been waiting for years! Now that it has come and that she has even introduced the exemptions which we shall look at in her amendments, I propose that even the extension, since the exemptions are given on the fridges - it is the importation, which is being banned so people who have brought and people who can show that these fridges were ordered before the budget, the minister can give exemptions and these come, so it is not necessary to extend the date.
 
On the polythene bag carriers, she has put exemptions in her amendments on industrial products, agricultural, medical, research and science, sanitation and construction materials. It is also not necessary to extend this date because the minister will have the power to review and look at these exceptions. I beg to move.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 should be read for the second time. Those in favour say aye, to the contrary, no.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
BILLS
COMMITTEE STAGE
 
THE FINANCE BILL, 2009
 
Clause 1
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I propose that clause 1 stands part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 1, agreed to.
 
Clause 2
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: We want to amend clause 2 by substituting the first date of October 2009 with 31 March 2010.
 
Justification: to allow sufficient time for transition and integration into alternative investment lines and systems. I beg to move.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, my strong view was that the ban takes effect next week. (Applause) But because this debate has been prolonged and the members of the committee and the petitioners have requested for a moratorium to adjust - and since the NRM Government is sensitive to peoples needs - I am reluctantly accepting the extension. The moratorium is up to 31 March provided there is proof that the shipment was done by 30 June -(Interjections)- yes, shipment done by 30 June because we are allowing in what is in transit and we do not want those people who had already paid to lose so much money. That is why we are saying that shipment should not be later than 30 June. Since we have allowed that, all those who had sent money to get the shipment - but if we allow for shipment beyond June, we are going to have an influx. The transition is only to allow in those which were in transit. Thank you.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, this was a recommendation of the committee and it was supported by this side, now what is the debate about? I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: I want to seek clarification. You know we are saying buveeras, which are being imported by 30 June. We know the world over that documentation can change any minute and importation by 30 June within one month, maximum three months. These items are already in the country. Are we doing it for imports or for those items already in Uganda? Somebody can import items and if you give him a chance, the items will be here for two years and that will be very dangerous.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, we were pronouncing ourselves on section 2, which is on fridges, freezers, computers and television sets. We have not reached the buveeras.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Mafabi, I thought you are a member of this committee?
 
MR KIGYAGI: Mr Chairman, I would like to introduce clause 2(b) so that we care -(Interruption)
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I have said this many times. If you have an amendment on a Bill being handled, normally you should go to the committee and put your proposal for the amendment. If the amendment is rejected by the committee, you are free to bring it here. It seems you have been following this matter. I do not know whether you went to the committee and your amendment was rejected? If you did not, let us proceed.
 
MR KIGYAGI: I went to the committee and we agreed on two positions, which have not come. One position was that since the fridges and all the other products are imported, and the date is extended to 31 March, which we agreed, then we would put a clause (b) to limit and it reads, Not withstanding the provisions of clause 2(1) of this Bill, an order of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development &.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: My question is you got the report of the committee, which did not adhere to the agreement, why didnt you file your amendment in protest of their rejection of your amendment?
 
MR KIGYAGI: I have just received the report. You can ask the chairperson; I was there. I have just received the report because chairperson, listen to what we agreed on. That if they extended the date, we would put a clause to say: The Minister in charge of Finance, Planning and Economic Development can give exceptions to importers who provide evidence that they made orders from the point of origin to stop this &. Yes; we agreed on that. Now that the date has been extended, this provision should be put there. If they dont, then we oppose the extension of the date 
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman to address the worries of my good friend hon. Kigyagi, I proposed limiting the shipment time rather than exemptions. The exemptions are usually a cause of abuse. That is why we are saying that it is only those things which will have been shipped by the 30th of June. The budget was read on the 11th of June and we have agreed that this Bill comes into effect on 1st of July. So we are taking the 30th of June as the last date of shipment and there must be evidence. Going by the ordinary time shipment takes, from the furthest point, even if there were pirates in the high seas, a shipment from the furthest point like China or California will take more than four months. So really we think that the six months we have been given is liberal enough to handle whatever will be in transit.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Clause 3?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, we have not disposed of clause 2.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Clause 3(1), let us substitute the date 1st January 2010 with the date 31st March 2010. And now this provision will read as follows: The importation, local manufacture, sale or use of sacks and bags of polymers of ethylene, polyethylene and other plastics is prohibited with effect from 31st March 2010. I beg to move.
 
The justification is to allow sufficient time for transition and integration into alternative investment lines and systems as well as making regulations. That is why we said the people who are starting the bio-degradable ones will have to make alternative lines of change. I beg to move.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Let us first hear the ministers position.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, this is one of the few occasions when I am going to agree with my colleague on the other side to concede to the amendment being proposed by the committee.
 
MR LULE MAWIYA: I just want to be clarified because under 3(2) where we are saying that NEMA will make regulations to put this section in full effect, I have just heard the Minister of Finance talking of these exceptions and these exceptions have not been mentioned anywhere. Shouldnt we put a catch word in this clause concerning (Interruption)
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: After section 3(1) we were moving to introduce sub-section (2), which says: Not withstanding sub-section (1) of this section, the Minister responsible for environment shall by regulations, which shall be laid before Parliament, establish a list of sacks of polymers of ethylene, polyethylene and other plastics necessary for use in exceptional cases.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, my clarification to the Minister of Environment, we have talked of NEMA (Interruption)
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Information is in the NEMA Act: the minister is the Minister in charge of Environment.
 
MR MUSUMBA: I am sorry but I am yet to be clarified on the date of 31st March 2010. The justification in the clause that we passed, clause 2, was that these people are importers and when the minister explained, she said that not even in the most outrageous of cases do we anticipate that we would have four months of transit of imported fridges. In 3(1) although we have adopted the date of 31st March 2010, we are talking about manufacturing as well. So my question is: are we now treating people who have lines here and have put manufacturing concerns in place as if they are merely importers? Shouldnt we make a distinction between those who are importing - and I strongly agree that for those who are importing 31st March is more than reasonable but the manufacturers - shouldnt this House give some consideration of more time for the manufactures?
 
Sir, if I may say a little more about manufacturing, these are people who have got long term loans, these are people who have set up establishments and we cannot move like this. It may be polythene but people have got loans.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I think it should have a human touch instead of brushing aside these investors as hon. Kigyagi is trying to do. I mean they have got money.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: I will lay a document on table from UMA where about 19 companies that deal in plastics have invested Shs 5,884,3201 and they are employing 2,090 people and last financial year government got Shs 10.8 billion in terms of revenue so extending to 31st March was to consider these people to change into the bio-degradable. And to answer the question of my brother hon. Kigyagi, bio-degradable means - since we are talking about the kaveera which is big and does not to permeate into the soil - the biodegradable means that these are small particles which will become soil in less than nine months. So since it was our government that registered these people to start business, I think it would be humane and prudent for them to be given the three months that they are getting. I beg to move.
 
MR MUSUMBA: Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that this paper makes a distinction between importation and local manufacture, and in view of the fact that there are stages that one goes through to put in place an investment, which includes securing loans, installing machinery, employing people and so on, I want to make an amendment that with respect to manufacture, the time of prohibition should be extended up to 31st December 2010. In that period, I would expect that the guidelines that are to be established by the minister and the regulations are clearly laid before this House and this House considers them. This is my proposal.
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Whereas hon. Musumba wants to help the manufacturers and he says that we want to provide for local manufacture, if you are suggesting that we shall manufacture, seal and carry it somewhere, you will not be in offence of what you want left because what is provided for in (1) is prohibition of sale or use so when those guys manufacture, they cant sell or use it here. Then you run into that complication so how do you sort this out?
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. In 1997, the Sixth Parliament discussed the ban of polythene in this Parliament. There was only one factory at that time in Kawempe but the President stopped the ban on account of losing employment. That was twelve years ago. Now the number has risen to 19. I think we would be wrong to sympathise with investors who borrow money to come and destroy our country. We should not consider their money at all as their money cannot be compared to our country. To me even 31st March is too far. I wanted the thing yesterday; we should really ban this thing.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, we have passed 3(1). It is not only for importation but also manufacture. Read the provision; importation, local manufacture and so forth so we have already dealt with that one. I think maybe hon. Musumba was bringing in another dimension but we have finished it. We can only recommit. Can we go to the next amendment?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, after 3(1) I wanted to introduce 3(2), which reads as follows: Not withstanding sub-section (1) of this section, the Minister responsible for environment shall by regulations, which shall be laid before Parliament, establish a list of sacks and bags of polymers of ethylene, polythene and other plastics necessary for use in exceptional cases.
 
The justification is to accommodate inevitable exceptions that may be provided by the minister in consultation with NEMA, with Parliaments participation. I want to move that subsequently what was 3(2) becomes 3(3) and what was 3(3) becomes 3(4). I beg to move.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Mr Chairman, I seek clarification as to whether this 3(2) will take into consideration issues of microns. This is because the other time there was a kind of ban but they were saying buveera with 31 microns and below will be permitted. I dont know if this regulation will take that issue into consideration. If we give the powers to the minister then enforcing the issue of which microns are allowed in Uganda will become a bigger problem than what we are seeing now. I seek that clarification.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, I think my statement said, The Minister responsible for Environment &. Since he will be consulting NEMA and NEMA doesnt come to Parliament, the minister will have consulted them and they will have made regulations and all the microns will be presented on the Floor of Parliament.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to the amendments to clause 3.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Mr Chairman, there is just one technical word used in 3(3) line two, the last word where they mention ethane. Is it ethane or ethylene? This is because the word closest to this is methane, which is some higher level alcohol so I am not sure what they are referring to.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I think the technical people should help us with this.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, I dont have a technical issue but I have been thinking through this. Local manufacturers are those who manufacture local products like iron sheet gauges 32, 30, 28. They can adjust those moulds any time. Buveera are the same, but if we are talking about importation and also giving them the deadline up to that time, I could decide to import items and again I could use buveera in this country because the law says, Up to the 31 March, you are free to import. It is a very dangerous thing! I think we should look at local manufacturers and separate them from importers. At a later time we must recommit this to save local manufacturers because importers could do anything dangerous.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, we have already blocked the importation. We said it is only those imports with credible evidence, of goods which would have been shipped by 30th June, which will be allowed. We are not opening up for any new imports; not even for the raw materials for making polythene bags because the polythene bags are made out of imported materials.
 
Clause 4
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I propose that clause 4 stand part of the Bill.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 4, agreed to.
 
Clause 5, agreed to.
 
The First schedule
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. We had hoped that during the second reading we would raise a matter that hon. Oduman had raised and on which I would seek your procedural clarification.
 
What hon. Oduman made reference to were the Finance Bills, which we passed in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, we specifically provided, in part 5 of the Bill, a waiver of interest and penalties on voluntary disclosure of tax liability and in 7 there was provision for remittance of Value Added Tax arrears of local governments -
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Please, do you have a copy? I do not. But then what are you going to use?
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: I have finished with this, Mr Chairman. And then in 2008, in part 4, waiver of tax arrears, part 4(iv) says, Waiver of tax duty interest and penalties in arrears outstanding on or before 30 June 2002 and still outstanding by 30 June 2008. We specifically provided for those waivers and those waivers were supported by what the minister said. Probably, they followed the same format. This one was a summary of taxes recommended for waiver.
 
The procedural matter that I want to raise is whether submission of those proposals constitutes a right of waiver or whether we should not stick to the usual practice of Parliament where we provide, in the Finance Bill, for those waivers justified by the schedule of waivers as previously done. If we leave this out, will we have done a complete thing?
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Minister, you have heard the question. They want to know.
 
MR EKANYA: There is a contradiction in our operation. As a former Chairperson of the Committee on Local Government Accounts, this House has passed some of the reports that include arrears that some companies, individuals and local governments have failed to pay. Some districts, during our meetings, were collecting this money as the meetings were going on. The Minister of Finance and the Minister of Local Government continued to collect this money and we have so many reports that have been laid here. If we just sit here and assume that the waiver is of this magnitude without clearly stating it, we are really weakening the role of the Committees of Local Government Accounts, PAC and Statutory Authorities - and some money that people have failed to pay through criminal means will be lost.
 
Could the minister clarify whether this action does not violate the same law, the same Rules of Procedure, the Public Finance and Accountability Act and the Constitution of Uganda?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I think what the shadow minister is asking is pertinent but if you get into the Income Tax Act, section 162, the minister has a right under that Act to waive tax and in VAT, section 67 -(Interjections)- yes. Please, open the Act. The powers are given -(Interjections)- I have told you the Income Tax Act and VAT. I have given you the sections, read them. The minister has those powers. So, it does not necessarily follow that they have to come in the Finance Bill.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, the law is okay as he is saying but it is only Parliament which has the authority to waive a government debt. The minister can do it but he has to bring it here and waive it. Even if the law is saying so, even the Constitution is very clear. A government debt is waived by Parliament. So, if people were supposed to pay and we never collected and we are saying, We have exempted you, the minister has to come and we waive. Even what hon. Ekanya has brought up - even if he has mentioned it, when he has to bring it here again we shall deal with it as Parliament and we shall be the ones responsible for waiving.
 
We can refuse but -
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, but the question is: is it while we are considering this Finance Bill that this has to come? When?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, under the Income Tax Act Cap 340, clause 162(2) reads as follows: Where a taxpayers case has been referred to the minister under sub-section 1 and the minister is satisfied that the tax due cannot be effectively recovered, the minister may remit in whole or in part the tax due by the taxpayer. This gives powers to the minister.
 
That not withstanding, the minister laid on the Table those taxes that were waived and honourable members were expected to look at them. But now that they are demanding that they want to look at them, I will request that since it is not an obligation by law, we go and prepare it once again and present it to Parliament after the budget is done (Interruption)
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: I think we are mixing up two things. We are not in any way challenging the right of the minister to waive taxes but I know that when you go and seek tax exemptions from a particular ministry that has the power to exempt, for example, if you are an NGO  they actually commit money. So this is a process that protects you. You may say, Look, Parliament committed money for those waivers  I had the authority to do this, but expending that money, whether in arithmetic terms or not, should be an act of Parliament. And since you previously followed it, you really must have a good logic for (Interruption)
 
MR MUSUMBA: Mr Chairman, I do not understand what the problem is 
 
THE CHAIRMAN: There are merits. What is the relevance of this Bill we are handling?
 
MR MUSUMBA: What is being referred to obtains its legitimacy from the Constitution, Article 152(2). Article 152(1) states: No tax shall be imposed except under the authority of an Act of Parliament. 152(2) says, Where a law enacted under clause 1 of this Article, confers powers on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by that law  that person or authority shall report to Parliament periodically on the exercise of those powers as shall be determined by law. I wish to remind this House that if I recall correctly, the Budget Act has clearly determined when that report should be given. I thank you.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Can you tell me the relevance of this Bill?
 
MR ODUMAN: After hearing those justifications - I want to know from the minister whether it was a mistake  whether she is saying now that it was a mistake to bring in those matters in the Finance Bills of 2007/2008, 2008/2009. Why were those waivers or write-offs introduced in the Finance Bills? We are saying that is what we did and we thought and still think that it was consistent with the law and the Constitution. Therefore, we are wondering why it should not be introduced now. Was that a mistake that we did those years?
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Chairman, I follow the law. I follow the Budget Act, the VAT Act and the Income Tax Act. But as I have already stated, if it is the demand of this House, I will make a detailed presentation.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I think you should do that.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I put the question to the first schedule.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
The first schedule, agreed to.
 

The Second Schedule
 

MR LULE MAWIYA: I would like to seek clarification for consistency because under (a), once we provide for eight years old, that is a used vehicle. When you go to (b) on cookers, you just leave it at that. Radios, just at that and other household appliances you give those 50. Are these old cookers, radios and other household appliances because even in (c) and (e) you say used motorcycles and (f), warm clothing. Are we referring to used warm clothing, warm shoes and the like? And maybe in (d), household appliances, how do you put a cross cutting figure of Shs 50,000? What if an item costs Shs 20,000?
 
THE CHAIRMAN: What you should know is that this Schedule falls under section 3 of the Bill dealing with subjects that are affected by section 3 of the Bill. Is it clear hon. Mawiya?
 
MR LULE MAWIYA: Yes, it is.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: I now put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
The second schedule, agreed to.
 

The Title
 

THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
The Title, agreed to.
 
MOTION FOR THE HOUSE TO RESUME
 
5.14
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): I beg to move that the House do resume and the Committee of the whole House reports thereto.
 

THE CHAIRMAN: I put the question to it.
 

(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(The House resumed, the Speaker presiding.)
 
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 

5.15

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 and passed it with amendments.
 
MOTION FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
5.15
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): I would like to recommit -
 
THE SPEAKER: Let us first adopt the report of the committee.
 
MRS BBUMBA: I beg to move that the report from the Committee of the whole House be adopted.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I put the question that the report from the Committee of the whole House be adopted.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(Report adopted.)
 

 

BILLS
THIRD READING
 
THE FINANCE BILL, 2009
 

5.16

THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I would like to recommit  
 
THE SPEAKER: Again, you will have to go through the steps before I pronounce your motion, and then you can rise up and say you want to recommit.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 be read the third time and do pass.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, the motion is that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 be read for the third time and do pass. That is when you recommit.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Most obliged. I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 be read the third time and do not pass.
 
THE SPEAKER: Have you, therefore, abandoned the recommittal?
 
MRS BBUMBA: No, Mr Speaker. I would like to recommit clause 2, sub-clause (2). 
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Mr Speaker, we have run into a serious procedural matter here. If the minister who proposed the motion wants the motion delayed, maybe her recommital can be given to somebody else. Otherwise, it is a real contradiction -(Laughter)
 
THE SPEAKER: Okay. Maybe he has a second thought but anyway, do you want to recommit?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Speaker, I beg to recommit clause 2, sub-section (2) of the Finance Bill, 2009.
 
THE SPEAKER: Why?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: The justification is that we want to introduce the words, the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with &. For avoidance of doubt, the National Environment Management Authority shall have powers to make regulations under this Act but we are adding, the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with NEMA, will make those regulations.
 
THE SPEAKER: Is it the minister responsible for the environment?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Since the Finance Bill is under the Ministry of Finance, even when it is presented to Parliament, it will be the Minister of Finance.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Speaker, you will recall that I rose and I wanted to say The Minister of Finance but the same chairperson came up and said it is the Minister of Environment. So, why do you change your goalposts now, yet we wanted to help you at that time?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Thank you. I changed my goalposts when we were on buveera, plastics, and clause 2 is on freezers, refrigerators and computers. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: No. Hon. Members, normally in the many laws, Bills and Acts that we pass, there is a provision allowing the minister to make regulations for better enforcement of the law. I think this was meant for that, which is general. Maybe what you are saying is that you want to even remove National Environment Management Authority because the Finance Bill is not only for that. It is a general application. So I think what you need to do is to give yourself or to give the minister powers to make a regulation for the better enforcement of the Act. I think that is what you need, without making reference to the National Environment Management Authority.
 
MRS BBUMBA: Mr Speaker, we are proposing that since the Finance Bill is under the Ministry of Finance, that the Minister of Finance, working in consultation with the minister responsible for environment, will make the regulations.
 
THE SPEAKER: It is the Minister for Environment. I think it is clear. You see, this provision on account is not for the general enforcement but in respect of section 2 on computers and television sets. That is why I think he is mentioning the minister for the environment. What we can do is to put the Minister of Environment rather than for you to deal directly with NEMA, which falls under the minister.
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think the amendment proposed is okay because that is consequential legislation and the regulations that are proposed are part and parcel of this and the minister responsible for this Act should have powers over it. Otherwise, if that person does not have the powers, you could have conflict between ministries and so, because the other law provides that the Minister for Environment will do it, that provision should be included in order to bring the Minister of Finance into it.
 
THE SPEAKER: I put the question that we recommit this Bill to reconsider clause 2.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
BILLS
COMMITTEE STAGE
 
THE FINANCE BILL, 2009
 

Clause 2
 

MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Chairman, we should amend clause 2(ii) by inserting the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with immediately before the words the National Environment Management Authority. The justification is that the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is responsible for the administration of the Finance Act and it is important that she does so in consultation with NEMA.
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Would you like to repeat reading the amendment?
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: The Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with the Minister in charge of Environment.  
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Chairman, it is true that the Finance Bill is under the Minister of Finance. If we amend to say that clause 2(ii) should include the Minister of Finance, then it means that clause 3(iii) too must include the Minister of Finance [HON. MEMBERS: It is consequential.] The minister said only 
 
THE CHAIRMAN: Hon. Member, the Bill was recommitted to consider clause 2(ii). I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.
 
MOTION FOR THE HOUSE TO RESUME
 
5.25
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Chairman, I beg to move that the House do resume and the committee of the whole House reports thereto.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(The House resumed, the Speaker presiding.)
 
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
5.25
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the recommitted clause 2(ii) of the Finance Bill and passed it with amendments.
 
MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF THE REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
 
5.27
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the report from the Committee of the whole House be adopted.
 
THE SPEAKER: I put the question to it.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(Report adopted.)
 
BILLS
THIRD READING
 
THE FINANCE BILL, 2009
 
5.25
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Syda Bbumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill entitled the Finance Bill, 2009 be read for the third time and do not pass. I say do not pass because there is another recommittal. I beg to move.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: When we had sub-section 3(2), we said not withstanding sub-section (1), the Minister responsible Environment &. Now the subsequent recommittal is: the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with Environment. That is on 3(ii). I beg to move that 3(i) gets a consequential amendment like 2(ii). I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: I put the questiA System Error Occur. Please reload page