Inside Politics

MP Kimani Kuria makes new promise to manufacturers after social media backlash

Thursday, June 6th, 2024 20:26 | By
Molo Member of Parliament (MP) Kimani Kuria during his engagement with manufacturing stakeholders in Machakos on Thursday, June 6, 2024. PHOTO/Parliament of Kenya/Facebook.
Molo Member of Parliament (MP) Kimani Kuria during his engagement with manufacturing stakeholders in Machakos on Thursday, June 6, 2024. PHOTO/Parliament of Kenya/Facebook

Molo Member of Parliament (MP) Kimani Kuria who chairs the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning has made a new promise to manufacturers following backlash over the Finance Bill 2024.

The youthful lawmaker has been on the receiving end after reports emerged that he had told off the manufacturers aggrieved with the current business climate to shift their operations to neighbouring East African countries.

Social media backlash

Kimani Kuria came out to deny the reports, flagging as fake posters on social media quoting him as having advised manufacturers complaining of heavy taxation in Kenya to relocate to either Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and other neighbouring EAC countries and export their goods to Kenya duty-free went viral.

However, the lawmaker while meeting the manufacturers who appeared before the Committee to make submissions on the Finance Bill, 2024 in Machakos on Thursday, June 6, 2024, said the committee is keen to make Kenya a manufacturing country rather than a trading one.

“I want to assure you that we have all intentions to protect our manufacturers. We want to make Kenya a manufacturing country rather than a trading one,” he noted.

Manufacturers' concerns

The manufacturers had raised concerns that some of the proposals in the Bill such as the introduction of excise duty on locally produced plastics would make Kenya less competitive as compared to her neighbours in the region.

Manufacturing stakeholders making their submissions before the Kimani Kuria-led committee. PHOTO/Parliament of Kenya/Facebook

According to Kimani Kuria, the committee he chairs would not contemplate adopting revenue-raising measures that would muzzle the local manufacturing sector, forcing the players to shift base to other countries within the region.

Coca-Cola plea

During the Kimani Kuria-led engagement with manufacturers, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Proprietary Limited urged the Committee to consider dropping the provision that imposes a 10 per cent levy on locally manufactured plastics.

The company appealed to the legislators to consider dropping the proposed amendment to Section 42 (G) of the Excise Duty Act by deleting the word “imported” on all plastics.

The Excise Duty Act currently imposes a 10 per cent excise duty on only imported plastics under the tariff heading 3923.30.00 and 3923.90.90.

John Mwendwa, the Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director at Coca-Cola noted that the introduction of the excise duty on imported plastics was meant to protect the local industry.

He informed the Committee that the vibrant plastics’ manufacturing industry in Kenya which makes products for use by consumers and for use by other manufacturers to package their products.

He noted that with excise duty for plastic products in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda being zero-rated, Kenya was likely to lose business to her neighbours.

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