Friday, February 14, 2014

Finance ministry clears way for parliamentary debate of Uganda's Tobacco control bill

The Ugandan Ministry of Finance's Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi has formally granted a certificate of Financial implications for the Uganda Tobacco control Bill 2013,early in February 2014 which paves way for the vitally important bill to be tabled before parliament for consideration. Uganda's Tobacco control bill has been in the works since 2011 and many observers have been uneasy at the perceive slow pace of legislative process.Tobacco industry interference was initially suspected as a contributory factor beside the usual lengthy necessary legislative processes. The certificate of financial implications now clears way for consideration of the much delayed bill and 2014 seems a critical year in this regard. The certificate of financial implications is a requirement of all bills in parliament and implies that the financial obligations on the Ugandan state are manageable. Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the private member of parliament, pushing the bill is now expected to move the process forward in the August house. The Ugandan Tobacco bill is highly regarded with in the Ugandan and international tobacco control lobby and is seen is critical in stemming the public health,socio-economic,development and environmental effects of tobacco use in Uganda. Uganda has witnessed a spike in Noncommunicable disease such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes for which tobacco use is the common risk factor. Uganda is already under strain from infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis

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