The Uganda Alcohol Industry Association has raised a red flag over the proposed Alcohol Control Bill, arguing that it would cripple the economy if passed into law.
During a meeting with State Minister for Trade David Bahati and State Minister for Investment Evelyne Anite, the Association’s Secretary General Ms. Jackie Tahakanizibwa urged Parliament to prioritize addressing the 65% of unregulated alcohol brewers in the sector before considering the bill.
The Association also expressed concerns that the bill could lead to significant tax losses, estimating a potential reduction of one trillion US dollars based on the industry’s status as a top taxpayer.
In response, State Minister Anite acknowledged the industry’s contribution to tax revenue but emphasized the government’s responsibility to protect the lives of Ugandans. She highlighted the negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption, particularly among youth.
“We want to operate in a very regulated way, the member [Tororo District Woman MP Sarah Opendi] did not just come out of the blue. What breaks my heart is seeing young people on the streets moving with those small sachet regardless of the hour,” Anite said.
The Alcohol Control Bill, introduced by Tororo District Woman MP Sarah Opendi, aims to regulate alcohol consumption through the repeal of outdated legislation like the Liquor Act, the Portable Spirit Act, and the Enguli Act. Opendi cites the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption, including health problems, social issues like domestic violence, and economic consequences.