Government has scrapped all non statutory parking fees levied on public transport and reduced parking fees in gazetted areas by 44% for buses and 60% for taxis. The move is aimed at addressing the multiple taxation burden on players in the transport industry for better efficiency.
Previously public service vehicles were charged Ush 360,000 for taxis and Ush 1,200,000 for buses in parking fees by urban authorities. Now, the taxis will be levied Ush 200,000 while buses will be charged Ush 480,000. Scrapping of the levies follows a Cabinet meeting that sat on September 15.
The abolished informal levies include; welfare fees, stage management fees, stage permission fees, stage loading fees, touting charges and other fines not sanctioned by court.
Minister of Local Government, Tom Butime told journalists on Monday that these self imposed fees had resulted into multiple taxes, frustrating business for taxi and bus operators.
“The arbitrary, unregulated and informal category of levies has been the underlying cause of constant disgruntlement, resentment and unrests within the public service vehicle industry. On many occasions, it has resulted into violence and disruptions of passengers,” Minister Butime said.
In a joint statement by Ministries of; Local Government and Kampala Capital City, Butime further stated that informal levies have encouraged an explosion of ungazetted stages where a variety of illegal fees are collected by unauthorized groups and persons.
Butime was accompanied by Minister of Kampala Betty Kamya and officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Furthermore, government has abolished the privatization of revenue collection to private entities which the Minister said is profit motivated and over taxes the informal sector.
“Public Service Vehicles will pay a monthly parking fees of not more than Ush 80,000 at the start and end of a regular route or catchment area, where they pick and drop passengers,” Butime said.
However, government says this is an interim decision as it undertakes a comprehensive study and consultations in view of establishing a single annual consolidated levy.
Meanwhile, all urban authorities, municipalities and town councils have been ordered to designate, develop and gazette parking areas, taxi parks and bus parks.
“This is in order to create order and streamline revenue collection. Without order in the transport industry, our people will be extremely inconvenienced,” Butime stated.
Reacting to the development, Athieno Jamillah, a business woman who owns several taxis in Kampala told SoftPower that the decision by government was “great” and a sigh of relief to the industry.
“If they have reduced the parking fees, then that is great. Now we can be able to save something atleast,” Athieno said.
“As for the other fees [illegal], they have been costly also. We pay Ush 3,000 per stage for loading meaning that the 5 routes I make daily, that is a total of Ush 15,000. Then add the Ush 500 that brokers charge us for every passenger they give you along the way,” she added.