KRA to reopen Keroche Breweries after week of closure

KRA to reopen Keroche Breweries after week of closure

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has signaled re-opening of Keroche Breweries one week after its doors were closed due to Ksh.22.79 billion tax dispute.

KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu agreed to meet Keroche boss Tabitha Karanja on March 10 to chat a way forward for the brewer to start paying tax arrears.

“We have had a day-long discussion and we have made good progress. We will put this into an implementable agreement and I have a firm conviction that we will have an amicable solution. The teams have agreed to go and look at the documents on a new deal before we can make it public,” Mburu told Business Daily.

Keroche has requested KRA to grant it a grace period of 18 months to clear taxes while also paying the current taxes.

This means its 36 bank accounts which have been frozen by KRA will be released.

The meet-up between the two comes hardly a week after the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) allowED Keroche to rekindle its membership and submit documentation to KAM  TO engage with the taxman.

It was meant to formulate a lasting solution between the brewer and KRA to oversee payment of the tax arrears the brewer owes and save the brewer.

Karanja has rejected any plans to sell the Naivasha-based brewer over KRA’s Ksh.22.79 billion tax bill frustration.

“Going to sell Keroche I don’t see it happening. I don’t think it can be the best option. Everybody would want Keroche to survive so that we show that we can also do it,” said Karanja.

KRA shut down Keroche breweries on March 4.

Karanja warned that indefinite closure would render over 250 employees jobless.

 “…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.

The embattled Karanja had earlier appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help the business from downfall over KRA’s frustrations.

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