Ugandan Manufacturers Lament Hefty Losses Incurred

It’s no doubt that the COVID 19 pandemic has really ravaged world economies apart and in Uganda it has not been any different.

Many people have been forced into heavy losses and some have even seen their business collapse to never getting up again.

This has even been made worse by the government interventions such as declaring lockdowns to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

As the 42 day lockdown declared in June by the President nears an end, any Ugandans especially businessmen are really anxious to see what the future will be.

Cries from different groups of people have come out to the government to open up in a phased manner while others seek the government to provide incentives and economic relaxations to help them overcome the financial hardships the pandemic has subjected them to.

Among these are manufacturers under the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) who say their sector faces future uncertainty.

Daniel Birungi the Executive director of UMA while speaking to NTV said that it will be hard for them to get on top again unless the government provides incentives to them.

“On average when we poll our different sectors, they tell us that business is down from 40-60% and that’s a significant amount. It becomes more significant that it comes at the end of a financial year and the period of reporting URA where we have to remit alot of taxes. It therefore creates alot of pressure on businesses as long as cash flow is concerned.” Birungi said.

He added that they had resorted to online sales and marketing but they were yet to meet the desired targets.

Birungi said that they had distributor shops which they had kept open and were maintaining them.

However the level of business is very low because majority of the people are seated at home and are unable to access these distributor shops.

He also said that the new taxes introduced by the government are going to be a huge blow to the already struggling businesses.

“There’s a couple of new measures on plastic granules for example that has come on board. There are couple of new measures that have come on board which also relate to the ability of our factories to keep open. We are seeing the extension of digital tax terms to new sectors like cement among others and we feel that this can be deferred.” Birungi added.

He also said that manufacturers provide the biggest credit to distributors since they usually give them 30-90 days to pay back.

However, majority distributors were now stuck home with their produce.

These manufacturers are therefore calling upon the government for massive vaccination so that business can resume to normal.

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