Police want tax waiver for Kibuli land investors

Wednesday November 02 2016
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Up for takes. Fire brigade trucks infront of the police fire brigade headquarters on Entebbe Road. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

KAMPALA. Police have asked government to grant a tax exemption to Chinese investors who want to take over city land on which Fire Prevention and Rescue Services (FPRS) headquarters and part of former Police Training School at Kibuli sit. The Chinese would in exchange build apolice academy and 200 housing units.
According to a police source, the Chinese investors under Fangda International Company Ltd, are demanding tax exemption on all materials they will import for building their commercial projects and police structures as a precondition for partnering with the Force.

The police have accepted the precondition on tax exemption but are yet to convince the Finance ministry to sanction the deal. The Finance ministry is considering whether the tax waiver is workable.
The investors also plan to build commercial structures they will use for at least 30 years on the city land.
According to the deal, the Chinese investors will construct structures for FPRS headquarters at Kibuli in Kampala while their commercial structures will be sited at the current FPRS at the Clock Tower on Entebbe Road, Kampala.
The investors will also use part of the Kibuli land for commercial purposes.

Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi declined to comment on whether the government has given the project a go-ahead, saying he had not yet been briefed by the manager.
Similarly, Mr Jim Mugunga, the Finance ministry spokesman, also declined to comment on the deal saying he couldn’t divulge such details that are still under discussion.
Mr Mugunga is also the project manager of the police accommodation plan to be managed on a public-private partnership (PPP).

Currently, the police have a huge housing unit deficit and have no money to fund their accommodation projects. According to police records, 36,013 officers are entitled to accommodation but police can accommodate only 20.9 per cent of them.
In the 2016/2017 Financial Year police budget, only Shs20b has been allocated for housing.
In 2011, police advertised tenders for the redevelopment of its land in Nsambya, Naguru-Ntinda, Jinja Road, Entebbe, Kabalye, Kira, Wandegeya, Mabuwa and Acacia but most investors demanded for cover in the law to safeguard their investments. Parliament then passed the PPP law, but investors have been lukewarm in embracing the arrangement.

Law

Mandate. In order to attract investments and boost production in the country, the Uganda government grants several tax exemptions on Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Tax and Income Tax, among others. The exemption has to be debated in Parliament before it is assented to.

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abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

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