ADDITIONAL TAX ON BEER AND SOFT DRINKS WILL OVER-BURDEN CONSUMERS, COURT TOLD.

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Various soft drinks arranged in a supermarket.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Government decision to tax beer, soft drinks, juices and mineral water has temporarily flopped.

The directive by Kenya Revenue Authority imposing an affix excise duty stamps on those products will burden Kenyans more, the petitioner alleges.

The move by the taxman is aimed at ensuring tax compliance.

In a gazette notice, KRA indicated that from November 1, all juice, bottled water, plastic bottled sodas, food supplements, energy drinks and cosmetics manufactures and importers will need to have the excise duty stickers on their products.

The High court temporarily stopped the taxman from introducing the excise duty stamps through the Excise Goods Management System (EGMS)

The petitioner Okiya Omtatah says that EGMS will illegally and unconstitutionally expose manufacturers, importers and consumers to the burden of meeting extra production costs.

He told the court that he is seeking to protect the public from the irregular, unlawful, oppressive and unreasonable burden of higher living costs to be brought on by the impugned EGMS.

“Contrary to the requirements of the Fair Administrative Action Act 2015, the EGMS was arbitrarily imposed without public participation involving all stakeholders, including, the affected manufacturers, importers, and consumers,”argues Omtata.

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