Sachet spirit manufacturers to lose licenses

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Effective June 1, 2019, any sachet alcohol found in shops will be burned while the manufacturers will have their licenses revoked, Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has said.

“We had given the companies up to May 31 to comply with the ban on the manufacture of sachet spirits and if by June 1 we find sachets on shelves, licenses will be lost. Even the imported sachets will face the same fate,” she said.

She said they have set up a committee that will be moving around to ensure the full implementation of the ban, revealing that so far, only 15 companies have complied.

Kyambadde said that they have also directed companies to replace the sachet alcohol with a 200ml bottle of alcohol that will be solved at a price above sh2,000, so as to make it hard for many Ugandans to afford.

She blamed the sachets on the increased bodaboda accidents and poor teacher performances in schools, noting that people had resorted to taking the spirits while at the same time working.

She was speaking at the Office of the Prime Minister auditorium where she had come to present her ministry’s achievements under the NRM manifesto 2016-2021.

In her briefing, she revealed that the ministry has scored highly in increasing Uganda’s export (from US$2.68bn in the FY2015/16 to US$ 3.53bn in the Financial Year 2017/18). she also revealed that in the three years under review, they have been able to develop 815 standards, certify 2,257 products, inspect 5,354 market outlets, test 35,455 samples and inspect 313,008 import consignments at the point of origin.

She said that a new regulation for Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to enforce implementation of the Distinctive Mark has been approved and this which will compel all companies producing goods to have their standards certified.

Kyambadde noted that UNBS has also decentralised its certification and market surveillance operations to other regional offices in Gulu, Mbale, and Mbarara.

“Government has provided additional sh10bn towards recruitment of staff in order to increase the presence and coverage of UNBS to other regions and entry points of the country,” she said

On sugar production, she said the country’s annual sugar production is now at 416,000MT, noting that government has completed the acquisition of 32% shareholding, at a cost of sh64.8b, in Horyal Investments Holding Ltd for the establishment of the Atiak Sugar Factory.

Upon completion, the industry will generate six megawatts of electricity and work with 2,500 out-growers spread across five districts. The mill capacity, she said, will be expanded to 3,500 Tonnes of Cane processed per Day (TCD) in Phase II after 3 years.

Under industrial development, she said the development of the National Industrial Policy is in the advanced stages while the principles of the Industrial Development Bill have been developed

The Policy aims to promote value addition of agro and mineral based locally available raw materials.

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