Members of Parliament on the Government Assurance and Implementation Committee are probing foreign and domestic manufacturers that will benefit from the annual 160 billion Shillings Government electricity subsidy.

Last year, President Museveni directed the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to reduce the cost of electricity to all extra-large, large, medium, and commercial manufacturers to US Cents 5kWh in a bid to reduce the end-user cost of electricity for manufacturers and increase the competitiveness of the locally manufactured products.

Museveni also directed that the industrial parks should get power directly from the Government operating hydropower stations of Karuma, Isimba, Nalubaale, and Kiira without going through the Umeme Limited distribution network.

The committee wants to ascertain the ownership of the beneficiary industrial consumers, and what they remit to the Government in taxes annually.

Mbale City MP Connie Nakayenze Galiwango observed that several foreign investors are being given free land, and still enjoy power subsidies yet indigenous manufacturers continue to suffer high power tariff charges.

Robert Ssekitoleko, the MP for Bamunanika County is concerned that some presidential directives need to be scrutinized deeper because they are meant to achieve personal benefits and not the country, citing the Kapeeka Industrial Zone in Luweero District.

The Maruzi North County MP Nelson Okello is also concerned that the country might be paying bills for industries owned by people in Government and there the committee must assess the taxes they annually remit to the Uganda Revenue Authority.

The first eight of the 22 gazetted Industrial Parks to benefit from the electricity incentive include; Namanve, Kapeeka, Mbale, Jinja, MM Buikwe, Soroti, Luzira, and Mbarara.

As part of the 2022 Annual Tariff Review, the Rural Electrification Agency – REA has already commenced the implementation of the US Cents 5/kWh pilot for Liao Shen Industrial Park Kapeeka and the MM Industrial Park – Buikwe.

The State Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Sidronus Okasai Opolot revealed that when the US Cents 5/kWh is implemented fully for all the industrial consumers, including small and medium industries with and without gazetted industrial parks, it would require 668.9 billion shillings annual subsidy.

According to Okasai, the pilot project is to aid the Government to monitor and evaluate the impact of the low tariff incentives on industries productivity and competitiveness of the products with the associated demand response to inform the full implementation of the directive.

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