With the growing public outcrys on shortages of Oxygen gas cylinders in the public and private hospitals due to surge in corona virus cases in the country, companies manufacturing these cylinders have had a challenge of high taxes levied on items required in the manufacture of the cylinders.
In order to manage the crisis, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has exempted all companies manufacturing medical oxygen from paying taxes due to increases in need of oxygen gas for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
According to the Authority’s commissioner public and corporate affairs, Ian Rumanyika, the oxygen gas and cylinders are considered an essential tool used in prevention, treatment and management of COVID-19 pandemic and thus exempted from all taxes.
Rumanyika says the exemptions is inline with the 5th schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA).
The exemption comes at a time when many hospitals at a level of regional referral and national referral and those owned by private individuals have been hit by shortage of supply oxygen cylinders due to increase in COVID-19 cases something that had caused fears among Ugandans.
The exemption therefore gives relief both to the government and the public in particular who have been meeting high costs to access oxygen services in hospitals.