In accordance with the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, 2023, Ugandans will be required to pay a tax of Shs75 per litre of bottled water, or whichever amount is greater, once the new tax law enacted by Parliament yesterday goes into effect.
This is on top of the existing provision of a 10% levy, which, according to the State Minister of Finance in charge of Planning, Mr. Amos Lugoloobi, is intended to eliminate any potential for under-declaration by some producers in the water industry.
The government will impose a tax on all diapers, whether they are used by adults or children, under the new tax laws.
In adopting the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill 2023, the legislature rejected the government’s initial proposal to exempt adult diapers from taxation.
Before this proposal was rejected, Vice Chair of the Finance Committee Jane Pacutho stated: “As a Committee, we feel that there are a few categories of older persons, who use diapers and they are really for medical use. No adult person will really use diapers and therefore, we should limit this exemption to only adults. When we allow even for adults, so many people are going to use this and yet they are non-degradable.”
A portion of legislators suspected that tax-exempting adult diapers would be advantageous to homosexuals.
“We just passed the [Anti-]Homosexuality Bill here, and you know for a fact that the biggest number of people who use diapers for adults are actually homosexual people. So, when you say diapers for adults, you are going to benefit, to a big extent, the homosexuals,” Ms Aisha Kabanda, the Woman MP for Butambala District, said.
It was eventually decided that every diaper should carry a tax.