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Government to raise taxes on cheaper imports amid China square row

By Stanley Kimuge February 28th, 2023 2 min read

The government will impose higher taxes on cheap imports that are locally produced in Kenya in a bid to protect local businesses.

Industry Principal Secretary Juma Mukwana pointed out that heavy taxation on cheap goods is aimed at cushioning local industries from stiff competition from the cheap products.

“The (Trade) CS (Moses Kuria) has pronounced himself on this issue but what I would to say is that as we attract investors, we don’t want them to use Kenya as a dumping ground for cheap products that we are higher taxes on some of these products to discourage us from importing what we are producing or can produce, “said the PS.

The PS made the remarks on Monday during the first Eldoret investment conference that brought together the business community within the region.

He added that: “We are going to impose 20 per cent or 30 per cent on some of these products because we want to protect our local industries.”

Dr Mukwana said that cabinet has approved the increased taxation against the cheap products

“Whereas there is no law that bars people from importing products or investing in any sector… our priority as a country is to make items locally and not export jobs,” said the PS.

The PS said that the decision is meant to promote industries in order to create jobs to the young people.

“There is nothing illegal with selling products but what we are saying is that it is that practice that is killing our local industries,” added the PS Mukwana.

“Remember for every product we import; we are actually exporting jobs to those countries. If you import a shirt that we can produce here, then we are exporting our jobs…If you talk from a logistic point of view, is that we have a lot of young people who are jobless,

At the same time, he said that the government had set aside Sh4.7 billion this financial year towards construction of the industrial parks in each of the 47 counties.

Each county will receive Sh100 million towards the project meant to spur trade and create jobs for Kenyans, says the PS.

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