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President returns the Local Content Bill, again


President Yoweri Museveni has returned the National Local Content Bill, 2022 to Parliament for the second time asking the House to reconsider his earlier recommendations which he said have not been fully addressed.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa made the revelation as he chaired the House on Tuesday, 15 August 2023.

In his letter dated 01 August 2023, the President details sections that ought to be reviewed by the House, before the Bill is enacted.

Museveni said clause 1(g) should be amended to allow the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives to negotiate the local content in the agreements to the extent possible.

The clause states that, ‘a local content act shall apply to a local content entity whose activities are financed through public borrowing or such arrangements’.

Museveni noted that, ‘this is not practical since each development partner has its own policies and guidelines that are negotiated before the commencement of the project’”

Museveni proposed that clause 7 of the bill be amended to include locally manufactured goods and services in the East African Community Market as opposed to the bill’s proposal for preference of goods and services readily available on the market.

Clause 11 of the bill requires the sub-contracting of public works by at least 30 percent which the President said is not feasible.

The President recommended that clause 21 be amended to exclude suppliers, providers, and contractors in the procurement planning, saying they do not have the power to include local content as one of the criteria for the evaluation of bids.

The president also returned the Competition Bill, 2023 calling for amendment of clause 4 which establishes the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to administer the bill.

He said the bill should be administered by the Ministry of Trade and not the proposed commission cognizant that government halted rationalization.

He observed that the commission attracts a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

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