Kampala- Ugandan spirits (alcohol) manufacturers have agreed to convert 7.3 million litres of ethanol into hand sanitisers to fight the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Uganda registered the first case of a Covid-19 on March 21.
The pronouncement was made on Monday by the State Minister for Investment, Ms Evelyn Anite in a meeting with the leadership of Uganda Manufacturers Association and Spirits (waragi) Manufacturers in Kampala.
Ms Anite said: “Spirits and alcohol producers have at least 7.3 million litres of ethanol for conversion into hand sanitizers.”
According to Ms Anite, since manufacturers are changing their business plan to manufacturing sanitizers the government will give them tax incentives like corporation tax and excise duty waivers.
Mr Moses Kaggwa, the head of Tax at the Ministry of Finance said they will discuss with Uganda Revenue Authority modalities of exempting manufacturers from excise duty payment upfront.
Currently, the country has only two companies which have been producing sanitizers and with the incentive, over 48 companies have been registered to produce sanitizers.
“I commend Uganda National Bureau of Standards for their tireless effort to see to it that companies that produce spirits are certified in four days to start production,” Ms Anite said.
The locally-made sanitizers will also be affordable to allow Ugandans access the disinfectants whose prices on the market had escalated to over Shs150, 000 per litre and Shs10, 000 for a 60 ml bottle.
UMA’s chairperson, Ms Barbara Mulwana said that their members in the packaging industry will provide bulk packaging for the sanitizers that will be produced.
“The current producers have been importing packaging materials that add to the cost. We believe if local packaging producers come on board, this will further reduce the cost of the sanitizers,” Ms Mulwana said.
UNBS’s executive director, Mr Ben Manyindo said that all the locally-produced sanitizers will bear the Q-quality mark.
March 23, 2020