Parliament closes in on government officials asking favors from investors

By Edwin Muhumuza

Members of parliament have called for the streamlining and publication of all incentives and benefits  of investors in the ongoing amendments to the investment bill.

This after it was revealed that some government officials were going ahead to ask for favors from investors in return of granting them licenses for operation.Their concerns were raised as the State Minister of Finance for Investment, Hon.Evelyn Anite accompanied by Investment Authority Executive Director Jolly Kaguhangire ,appeared before the committee of finance.

Last week, among the things highlighted on the floor of parliament was that the law focused on the investment authority yet there were outstanding issues pertaining the investor.Now  the parliamentary committee of finance headed by,Hon.Henry Musasizi, is trying to conclude with the review of the investment code bill which seeks to  amend the 1992 investment Act.

Members of the committee  have deferred debate on the Investment Code Bill aimed at ensuring a conducive environment for investors. Amos Lugolobi (Ntenjeru South), a member of the Parliament committee says there should be incentives for strategic areas of investments, including VAT Exemptions on, supply of services such as feasibility studies/designs, earth moving equipment, construction materials, to a developer of an industrial park, whose investment is at least $200million among others.

Patrick Nsamba(Kasanda North) adds that the Investment code bill should include, the environment of operation ,handling issues such as, investment guarantees, competition, openness in trade and investment, investor rights, treatment ie; the local investor versus the foreign investor, issues to do with protecting capital investment, repatriation of capital and assets, protection of intellectual property, and financial transparency.