KAMPALA–The State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privitisation Evelyn Anite has reiterated her earlier stand of every one buying a UTL line, saying the move will help support local consumption.
Minister Anite was speaking at the 3rd Annual meeting of Uganda Investments Authority (UIA) and investors in Luzira, Namanve, Byeyogerere and Nakawa industrial parks on Wednesday.
Anite, who was the guest of honour, said she was attacked on social media when she urged all Ugandans to buy a UTL line, but maintains that the only way Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy can succeed is by giving priority to our products such as Uganda telecom.
“Why should you buy products that are produced locally from abroad? We are about to start producing smartphones and once that is done, the government will hike taxes on imported smart phones to enable the locally manufactured phones get market,” Anite added.
She said local investors are the major contributors to the country’s economy and contributed $916 million to the Gross Domestic Product in the financial year 2016/17.
Anite pledged government commitment to improving services in the industrial parks to ease the working conditions of the investors.
Ms Jolly Kaguhangire, the UIA executive director, commended the investors in the industrial parks for helping to create jobs for Ugandans.
She said industrialization is the only way the country can realize development agenda of becoming a middle income county by 2020.
“As government, we shall keep supporting you investors by giving incentives such as tax exemptions, free land in the parks as well as improved infrastructure and utilities in these parks,” Anite said.
Speaking at the Uganda Telecom staff blood donation drive at the Constitution Square in Kampala last month, Anite said having a UTL mobile line should be a show of patriotism and pride for Ugandans. UTL has been facing challenges, including a debt of nearly UGX1 trillion, which saw it being placed under administration.
During the occassion, Anite, whom President Museveni fondly calls “my daughter”, said time is coming when having a UTL line will be a mandatory requirement.