Bar owners protest move to have excise duty increased on beer

Bar owners in the country have faulted the move to have an increase of excise duty on beer citing that this will lead to increased uptake of illicit brew.

They have now appealed to the government to ensure the concern is addressed to avert further social problems in the country.

Addressing media in Nakuru on Tuesday led by Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) Secretary General Boniface Gachoka, they stated that increased taxes will hit the industry, which is yet to come to terms with Covid-19 related losses.

Gachoka while lauding the current Kenya Kwanza administration for standing with common citizens, urged President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua to step in and save the industry from the heavy taxation.

“We want to appeal to President William Ruto and his team to come to the aid of this industry that has employed many people for many years. We are opposed to any increase in taxes and prices of our products” said Gachoka.

The stakeholders called on the government to consider making changes in the Kenya Revenue Authority body.

According to them, KRA should have new leadership that values businesses in the country for the economy to thrive.

Gachoka cited several instances that the current Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja has been harassed in the past by the Authority over Keroche Breweries.

“We a KRA boss who is up to killing businesses and that is the reason we are calling on the President to act and ensure the Authority is in order” added Gachoka.

Sentiments echoed by Chairman Nakuru Bar Owners Association  Maina Maganjo who called on even the county government to up the fight on illicit brew that has continued to have a negative impact on their genuine businesses.

He noted that a move by the government to increase tax on standardized liquor will have a negative impact on the fight against illicit brew.

“We are calling on the government to help us tame the illicit brew and the war on illicit brew cannot be successful if the government still wants to impose heavy tax on beer and keg” stated Maina.

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