KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua)--
Car dealers in Uganda are asking Parliament not
to pass a law that will stop the importation of cars
manufactured more than eight years ago.
Led by Marvin
Ayebale, the secretary general of Associated Motor Dealers, the
members petitioned Parliament on Wednesday, saying the new law
would create greater demand and lower supply of vehicles into
“The population is
not financially ready for the proposal,” Ayebale said, adding
that many Ugandans will be driven out of business if the Traffic
and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is passed into
The same Bill also
proposes that importers of cars that were manufactured five
years ago or more would have to pay an environment tax.
The proposed law,
however, exempts heavy vehicles such as breakdown lorries, crane
lorries, road sweeper lorries, fire fighting vehicles, concrete
mixer lorries, spraying lorries, mobile workshops and forklifts
agricultural and forestry tractors will also be exempted.
“We are with
government on the intentions of this Bill but disagree on the
approach. We propose gradual phasing out of these vehicles
starting with a 15-year threshold. We need to be prepared,” said
Ayebale earlier before meeting the Members of Parliament.
regulator threatens to close Pay TV operators
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s communications regulator, has warned
that it will close down Pay TV service operators in the country
over noncompliance to a new license fee framework.
Communications Commission (UCC) said the operators have up to
April 30 to pay up or risk their business closed down.
measures shall include but not limited to closure of
broadcasting facilities and prosecution of offender(s) for
illegal broadcasting in accordance with section 27 of the UCC
Act 2013,” the Commission said in a statement late on Monday.
advised the public not to deal with non-compliant Pay TV
broadcasting service providers to avoid inconvenience that may
arise out of enforcement.
UCC said under the
new television licensing framework, all the existing
broadcasters are supposed to apply for new licenses. It noted
that since the framework came into force in January this year,
no service provider has applied for a new license.
The Pay TV service
providers in a joint statement protested the move arguing that
UCC took the decision arbitrarily.
The operators said
UCC increased the annual license fees to 550 million shillings
(around 150,000 U.S. dollars) from 22 million shillings.
They argued that the
new fees would render their services unaffordable because they
have to transfer the cost to their clients.
“Pay TV operators
will have no choice but to pass on these increased fees to
subscribers if we are to survive, which we are reluctant to do
as it would make Pay TV services unaffordable and place an
additional burden to consumers,” the operators said.
The operators who
among others include DSTV, Gotv, Azam TV, Kwese, Star Times and
Zuku satellite said they will continue to engage UCC to revise
downwards the new fee.
Uganda central bank says
reforms push growth in gov’t securities by 29 pct
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Reforms instituted by the Bank of Uganda (BoU)
have pushed up the growth in government securities by 29 percent
from 2016 to 2017, the central bank said.
BoU figures show
that besides the retail segment, participating banks have
enhanced liquidity in the secondary market transactions; total
turnover in the secondary market rose to 5.1 trillion (1.4
billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, up from 3.6 trillion (1 billion
dollars) in 2016.
In October 2016, the
bank launched reforms to the Primary Dealer System to make
investing in government securities easier and more accessible to
the public. All licensed commercial banks in Uganda have direct
access to the primary market for government securities.
Primary dealers are
commercial banks that buy government securities (treasury bills
and bonds) directly from the central bank during the auctioning
time, with the intention of reselling them to other people in
the market. The primary dealers act as market maker of
government securities in secondary market.
Mutebile, the central bank governor, told reporters recently
that banks are all eligible to open Central Securities
Depository (CSD) accounts at the BoU for their clients through a
web interface on any business day.
The banks can
complete client sale and purchase orders online without using
the old BoU physical instrument for transferring CSD forms.
“They are all able
to accept and process their clients’ bids for government
securities. All banks settle their clients’ successful bids and
all banks can buy their clients’ securities if the client wishes
to sell in the secondary market,” he said.
Ugandan government securities is open to all investors, foreign
and local. According to the BoU, like in many other frontier
markets, offshore investors get higher returns on their
investment in Ugandan government securities because the interest
rate charged is higher.
The bank said
although the rates declined in February 2018, they were expected
to rise in March 2018 due to anticipated domestic financing by
736 billion shillings (204 million dollars) supplementary budget
for the 2017/18 fiscal year to be financed through the issuance
of additional treasury securities. Total domestic financing
amounts to 1.690 trillion shillings (over 469 million dollars).
director of financial market at the BoU, said offshore investors
hold 4 percent of the government security in the secondary money
interest charged on government securities, though lower than
they were a year ago, have not discouraged foreign investors,
investors are still actively investing in Ugandan government
securities because the rates charged are still higher than those
in the developed economies,” he said.
executive director of research at the BoU, said the face value
of total government securities in the secondary market currently
stands at 12.9 trillion shillings (about 3.6 billion dollars).