Pioneer buses face auctioning
Posted Friday, February 15 2013 at 02:00
URA attached some of the buses yesterday, warning it will auction them if a Shs8 billion tax arrears is not cleared by the bus company.
City travellers were yesterday morning stranded after Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) attached the Orange and Black Pioneer Easy buses over tax arrears.
The URA served a warrant of distress to the bus company for failure to clear Shs8 billion tax arrears.
A survey by this newspaper in Bweyogerere and Kireka suburbs of the city, one of the routes covered by the buses, indicate that passengers were stranded as some of them could not afford the doubled prices charged by commuter taxis.
“I have been here since 6am and I was wondering why the Pioneer Buses are not on the road. The taxis are asking for Shs2,000 to the city which is a lot of money to me,” said Ms Oliver Naluyimba, a passenger at a stage in Bweyogerere.
The arrears arose out of the bus company’s failure to honour the memorandum of understanding they entered into with URA last year to pay Customs taxes on the importation of their 98 busses.
Ultimatum for payment
In the memorandum, the company agreed to pay the tax in installments within 12 months. However, Mr Abudu-Sallam Wasswa, the URA debt collection manager, said they have been engaging the bus company management but no money has been paid.
“We expect Pioneer Bus to come to us within two days and agree on a plan and make at least a substantial payment,” he said.
The URA said failure by PEBL to respond will see all their assets, including their office premises, attached and auctioned to recover the tax. Mr John Masanda, the chief executive officer of PEBL, attributed the arrears to lack of commitment from KCCA to meet contractual obligations.
Last year, the Saturday Monitor broke the story that PEBL due to financial difficulties, had turned to ousted Uganda Taxi Driver and Operators Association for help.
Later, it was discovered that the company, that started operations in March 2012, had not remitted any NSSF funds and was in debt with a South African firm over failure to pay receipt taxes.