President Kaguta Museveni has said government is engaging the global actors that have caused the artificial shortages which have led to the rise of commodity prices.
This follows calls from some members of the public and political actors to government to subsidize on some essential goods and cut taxes on some products like fuel.
Museveni said government, after a careful analysis on the recent high commodity prices caused by the relaunch of the world economy after the two years of lockdown and the war in Ukraine, decided to avoid the traps of tax cuts and subsidies.
However, government decided to get its own substitutes like cassava and banana flour for bread and sunflower, soya bean oil “as we wait for more quantities of Palm Oil from Sango Bay” while engaging the global actors.
“We are doing two things; one, is to engage the global actors that have caused these artificial shortages. I have contacted some of the actors. I am glad H.E. Biden is going to Saudi Arabia, to meet the Crown Prince to get OPEC to pump more petroleum out of the ground. That would definitely help.”
He said the Chairperson of the AU, H.E. Macky Sall, met H.E. Putin in Sochi, Russia to ask him to assist in getting the wheat of Ukraine out of the Ports of Odessa and he has also talked to the Europeans to stop sanctioning wheat from Russia and fertilizers because Africa needs them.
“This is one of the correct ways,” Museveni told legislators at this Year’s State of the Nation Address.
He said the other one, is to get own substitutes cassava and banana flour for bread and own sunflower, soya beans oil “as we wait for our more quantities of Palm Oil from Sango Bay, Mayuge, Buvuma, Maruzi, Bundibugyo, etc”.
Museveni said cutting taxes or subsidies, especially on imports, is suicidal because our people may buy carelessly and we end up draining the forex reserves.
He said this will also mean taking money from planned projects and putting it in consumption.
“Cutting taxes or subsidizing, means taking away money from planned projects and putting it in consumption – fuel, bread, etc.”
The President said if the momentum of development is maintained, the high commodity prices will be solved in other ways, some of them outlined above.
He said in foreign affairs, Uganda abstained in the votes in the UN on the issue of Ukraine.
“You must have heard the arguments of the two sides. We have communicated our views, confidentially, to the two sides – the Western Bloc and Russia. At some stage, we shall give our view publicly.”