The officials led by the Minister of State for Water and Environment, Aisha Ssekindi made the call on Monday while appearing before Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee to discuss the Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2022/2023.
The Ministry of Water together
with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) have asked Parliament
to stop the remittance of money collected through the environmental levy to the
The officials led by the Minister
of State for Water and Environment, Aisha Ssekindi made the call on Monday while
appearing before Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee to discuss
the Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2022/2023.
Environmental levy is charged on
various items like old cars and machines as a means to prohibit pollution and
destruction of the environment. Up to 262
billion Shillings was collected in environmental levy and Non-Tax Revenue (NTR)
last financial year 2020/2021.
During the meeting, Busiki County
MP Paul Akamba asked why the environmental levy fee was remitted to the
Consolidated Fund yet the law indicates that the money should be retained by
the entity. Similarly, Sheema Municipality MP Dickson Kateshumbwa said that while
the levy is meant to strengthen the government’s environmental response, this
purpose is not currently being met due to the anomaly.
“You cannot have the Ministry of Finance disregard part of
the law by administratively moving it to the Consolidated Fund yet it is
supposed to be retained,” Kateshumbwa said.
Christine Kaaya Nakimwero, the Kiboga Woman MP and Shadow
Minister for Environment said that the environmental levy is meant to help
different districts handle environmental concerns.
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Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent
Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment also raised concern that when the
money goes into the Consolidated Fund, it does not adequately return to them. In
the same vein NEMA Executive Director Dr Akankwasa Barirega told MPs that
sending the money to the Consolidated Fund is a breach of the law as the
Constitution requires that money due to a special fund established by
Parliament shall not constitute part of the Consolidated Fund.
On the basis of this, Bukimbiri County MP Eddie Kwizera also
wondered why the law is not respected in regard to the levy.
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Dr Emmanuel Otaala, the committee Chairperson said that they
would engage the Ministry of Finance to ensure that this matter is resolved. He
said that what is happening is in total disregard of the law.