KRA, Keroche exude confidence in resolving court case

By Beth Nyaga

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has exuded confidence that it will resolve the case between Keroche Breweries and themselves.

Keroche recently took to the court over a decision by KRA to cancel its manufacturer’s license.

Also related was a dispute over a Ksh 1.3billion tax bill relating to its ready-to-drink vodka.

According KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini, they were working with Keroche to resolve the court issue noting that he was impressed by the operations of the company.

“Tax issues can always be resolved amicably and we are working in partnership with Keroche by supporting them in various fields,” he said.

This emerged when the he led senior officers from KRA in visiting the company to find out how the recently introduced excise stamps management program was working.

Njiraini was full of praise for the program which seeks to help consumers identify genuine products and also those that have paid taxes.

The program currently targets spirits and wines but the plan is to also use it to verify water and juice products as well as 60 percent of the products in the market are counterfeits.

“Under this program which is meant to fight illicit products we have some companies tax returns rise by fivefold and this is the way to go,” Njiraini said.

“We tried this system in the tobacco industry and it has worked with counterfeits going down from 25 to five percent,” he said.

On her part, Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja welcomed the visit adding that the new excise stamp program had seen the brewery sales rise.

She however expressed her concern over the high number of counterfeit liquor in the market mainly imported noting that this was killing the industry.

“Though a lot has been done to deal with these counterfeit drinks, we urge KRA to do more as 50 percent of this imported drinks are fake,” she said.

  

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