EABL hits out at the Kenya govt for increase in ‘sin’ taxes

East African Breweries has hit out at the government over increasingly unpredictable policy and regulatory environment. The giant brewer says this has undermined long-term investment decisions.

“A predictable policy and regulation environment will help firms plan five, ten years out,” EABL chairman Charles Muchene said yesterday in Nairobi. “You have to keep taking into account all stakeholders not necessarily about fixing everything where it is, but creating an environment where changes in future are going to be predictable and people can plan around those changes.”

Kenya’s investment climate as measured by the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2017, released last October, improved to position 92 out of 189 countries from 113 previously.

The company, 50.03 per cent controlled by UK’s Diageo, has been a victim of “sin taxes” which have borne the brunt of government’s taxation measures aimed at growing ordinary revenue to meet rising annual expenditure needs.

In the budget statement for financial year 2017-18, Treasury CS Henry Rotich increased excise tax on spirits by 14.29 per cent to Sh200 per litre. 

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