The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has asked Government to
waive income tax obligation from rent for the three months of lockdown to help the landlords also reduce pressure on the tenants.
KACITA was today appearing before the National Economy
committee of Parliament which is meeting different businesses on the effect of
the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
Representing the Kampala traders who mostly rent arcades,
Issa Sekito said that there is looming trouble between the traders and arcade owners over issues of rent with most of them demanding payment for three months of
rent, yet the tenants have not been working.
KACITA has proposed four options for Government to consider
in resolving this. Sekito says that in order to resolve the issue, Government
should declare the three months during the lockdown as a loss to the entire
economy, since everyone has felt the pinch of the lockdown so that they do not
have to pay rent, even when it is carried forward as they have not been making
money in the last three months.
Sekito also says that if the first option fails, Government
can waive off the income tax obligation on rent from landlords, so that the
landlords can forgo the rent or minimize on the aggressiveness.
KACITA also proposes that Government should engage banks to
drop all interest on loans of landlords, so that the landlords can also forgive
the rent or negotiate with the tenants.
They also propose that Government should cover the three
months rent arrears that they have not paid since they have not been working,
by using the money borrowed to cushion the economy.
//Cue in: “Rent payable for…
Cue out:…I was servicing.”//
He says now the problem is that goods and merchandise are
rotting and people are not being allowed to access the buildings to check on
their goods. He says they have no way of
paying the three months rent.
//Cue in: “And that is…
Cue out:… this money where.”//
The chairperson of the committee Syda Bbumba said that they
will present the proposals before Parliament, but also said the possibility of
forgiving the three months will be almost impossible, but on the taxes and
interests this could be possible.