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Jiko manufacturer decry VAT hurt business

A Ruiru based firm that manufactures energy-saving cooking stoves has decried the 14 per cent tax on renewable energy, solar and cooking stoves, saying it was hurting business.

Peter Scott, the founder and CEO of Burn Manufacturing Ltd says the tax that was imposed through the Finance Bill of 2020-2021 and has since become law, has led to increased production cost which tricked down to the consumer.

Speaking to the press at his Ruiru premises on Thursday, Scott said the new VAT has led to an increase in the price of a unit by a minimum of Sh 500.

He called on the government to review the law saying it eroded the gains that the country had made in its push for the adoption of clean cooking energy.

“The new VAT negates President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to promote manufacturing as one of his Big 4 agenda and the ‘Buy Kenyan Build Kenya’ spirit. It is also a setback to the global agenda on access to clean cooking energy.

It has forced us to increase the price of biomass stove by Sh 500 per unit making it unaffordable to many households. This will push several Kenyans to continue cooking with inefficient stoves or firewood,” he said.

The company manufactures and distributes clean cooking biomass stoves that reduce black carbon by 50 per cent. Since it started operations in the country seven years ago, it has manufactured and distributed more than 800,000 renewable energy cooking stoves.

Besides, it has also created over 400 jobs directly in manufacturing and more than 1,000 in sales and distribution.

Scott says the company has not been affected by the effects of Covid-19 noting that stove sales have remained stable, because more families are at home.

The company which makes ‘Joko-Okoa’ and ‘Kuni-Okoa’ brand of jikos, he said, also exports its products to Somalia and Ethiopia which have zero-rated taxes on the same.

By Muoki Charles


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