Kampala- Kansai Plascon has asked government to exempt its mosquito repellent paint from Value Added Tax.
Speaking during the launch of the paint, Mr Chris Nugent, the Kansai Plascon managing director, said that whereas the company would seek partnerships to make the paint affordable, “reducing or removing VAT (18 per cent) would be an opportunity to [permanently] reduce the price”.
“I have never heard of government subsiding products in Uganda but subsidising it [paint] is one thing, reducing or removing VAT (18 per cent) is another that would be an opportunity to reduce the price,” he said.
More than $10m (Shs36.7b), according to the paint manufacturer, was invested in the production with a target to sell 60,000 litres across Uganda in the next three months.
Kansai Plascon, which launched in the country about 18 months ago, will for instance, sell four litres of the anti-mosquito repellent paint at Shs80,000, which could be unaffordable for most Ugandans.
Mr Nugent, said their expenditure on manufacturing limits them on how much they can charge.
“If we can get some assistance with reducing the price in whatever form, it would make more sense for us to reduce the price for more people to use it. We do not have the capacity to reduce the price from where we are at the moment,” he said.
In Africa, the product was launched last year in October.
The Kansai Plascon vice president Kalpana Abe, said the new product is a modified emulsion paint powered by “knock down” technology.
“The Knock down technology works by disrupting mosquito’s nervous system on contact, reducing ability to remain on painted walls or flying too far away, resulting in it being knocked down. The knock down effect lasts for up to two years, offering lasting protection from malaria and other mosquito borne diseases,” she said on Tuesday.
The World Malaria report 2018 indicates Uganda registered an estimated increase of more than 100,000 malaria cases between 2016 and 2017 despite various interventions against the disease.
In 2011, according to Ms Kalpana Abe, the Kansai Plascon vice president the company sought innovative ideas from its staff. After looking into the rationale and a production cost estimate, the company realised an insecticide paint could be the solution to Africa’s longstanding malaria problem.