Manufacturers watchdog breaks silence on KRA’s move to shut Keroche Breweries

Manufacturers watchdog breaks silence on KRA’s move to shut Keroche Breweries

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) held a meeting with Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja following the closure of the brewer by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) last week.

KAM, in accordance with its Manufacturing manifesto 2022-2027, highlighted the impact of the regulatory burden on the brewer and promised to create an effective and pro-national taxation structure.

“Manufacturing is an important revenue stream to the country and it is important to seek ways to keep business operating and enable them offer employment as they work towards post covid recovery,” said KAM Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga in a statement issued Monday.

The association further said it is working to resolve challenges faced by manufacturers and address issues hindering the growth of businesses.

“We constantly ask our members to submit any issues regarding regulation and taxation for resolutions to enable us offer timely and accurate intervention. We have members help desk that works as a hotline to receive information on member’s issues that need prompt action”.

KAM also said it has worked with the government to review tax policies and laws and provide guidance and regulations to members.

Both teams agreed to allow Keroche to rekindle its membership and submit documentation to KAM which will, in turn, engage with the taxman.

This will mean to formulate a lasting solution between the brewer and KRA that will oversee payment of the tax arrears the brewer owes and save the brewer.

On March 4, KRA shut down Keroche breweries over Ksh.332 million tax arrears.

This is likely to leave over 250 employees jobless, said Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanya.

“…unfortunately if nothing is done in the next seven days, we will be forced to drain down all the beer and lay down over 250 direct employees and thousands within our nationwide distribution network,” said Karanja.

Karanja appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene saying efforts to hold talks with KRA Commissioner General have proved fertile.

“We are sure that this issue can be sorted amicably as we are ready to pay the required taxes if KRA opens up our brewery,” said Karanja.

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