By Mariselah Kimbio.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Professor Njuguna Ndung’u announced a Sh.5 per kilogram excise duty on imported sugar.

The move has been influenced by the need to discourage sugar consumption, terming it the root of various diseases such as diabetes.

“Consumption of sugar has been associated with various ailments such as diabetes, which has become common in many families,” said Prof Njuguna.

Kenya is facing a shortage of sugar which is a key ingredient in food processing.

The excise duty will be imposed on imported sugar with an exception to locally purchased sugar by registered manufacturers for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

He announced lowering excise duty on imports of goods like rice and wheat.

Rice is to be imported at a 35% rate tax as opposed to the 75% rate as agreed under EAC Common External Tariff.

Additionally, fish importers pay a 10% excise duty and a 15% excise duty to be imposed on media houses when displaying adverts, promoting alcohol, betting, lottery, and gaming competition.

This was proposed to discourage alcohol and betting activities that have taken control over Kenyan youth.

Kenya will be allowed to continue importing inputs for the manufacture of baby diapers duty-free for an additional year.

EAC finance ministers will also continue charging imported diaper duty at 35% for the year, to protect local manufacturers.

Kenya still plans to borrow 720.1 Billion shillings in the next financial year despite the 1.6 Trillion debt we are facing.