Dealers of imported second-hand clothes and shoes have threatened to close their shops due to the increased tax being levied on their goods.
Speaking to KFM, the chairperson of traders, Andrew Rubaihayo said effective 1st November, import duty per kilogram of used clothes, shoes, and bags was increased.
According to Rubaihayo, traders of used clothes are now required to pay $1.17 per kilogram from $1.13, used shoes from $1.37 to $1.41, and second-hand bags from $2.27 to $2.34.
“That becomes an increment of 0.04 dollars per kilo. If you look at a whole container it comes to an increment of about Shs5 million depending on the weight that you have,” said Mr. Rubaihayo.
He adds that “Our frustration is they keep having these increments almost every five months and they do not communicate to traders and yet we have not planned for them,”
He argues that the tax will increase the cost of doing business at a time when the economy is struggling and will also make them less competitive compared to other traders from the region.
“We are in a dying economy where there is a recession, inflation, we have increased cost of commodities and we have challenges with competing with traders from the region who also buy from the same traders. Traders in Uganda are not opting to buy these goods from Kenya,” Rubaihayo added.
Rubaihayo notes that much as government is seeking to mobilize and collect more revenue, it should not be done at the expense of traders who are being pushed out of business.
He has also warned consumers to brace for hiked prices for used clothes and shoes.
“When the cost keeps on increasing, so does the cost of the commodity. The cost we used to buy a bale of used clothes, we need twice as much money.”