• Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Milk, Wheelbarrows, Diapers to cost more In proposal to protect environment'

Milk, Wheelbarrows, Diapers to cost more In proposal to protect environment'

 LllA new levy targeting select goods manufactured in or imported into Kenya will be introduced if the Finance Bill 2024 becomes law to make manufacturers and importers pay for negative environmental impact.

The Eco Levy, a proposal under the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act (MFLA) aims at charging manufacturers and importers whose goods affect the environment.

The select goods are specified in the proposed Fourth Schedule of the Bill.

Those mainly targeted are manufacturers and importers of technology products (i.e. smartphones), telecommunication and internet equipment, personal computing devices, automatic data processing machines and units such as servers, cameras and radio and television broadcast apparatus. 

Other items being targeted include batteries, diapers, rubber tyres and plastic packaging materials.

This therefore means that the prices of those commodities will skyrocket as the cost of production will similarly remain at a record high. Burdened business operators push down the additional costs to the final consumers.

Hereunder are the proposed eco-levies for the selected items classed under different tariff codes. The official rate is yet to be confirmed.

Automatic data processing machines and units will cost Ksh.225 per unit.

Calculating machines and pocket-size data recording, reproducing and displaying machines with calculating functions; accounting machines, postage-franking machines, ticket-issuing machines, and similar machines, incorporating a calculating device; cash registers —a printing device will cost Ksh.225 per unit.

Office machines (e.g., hectograph or stencil duplicating machines, addressing machines, automatic banknote dispensers, coin-sorting machines, coin-counting or wrapping machines, pencil-sharpening machines, perforating or stapling machines) will cost Ksh.98 per unit.

Office machines (e.g., hectograph or stencil duplicating machines, addressing machines, automatic banknote dispensers, coin-sorting machines, coin-counting or wrapping machines, pencil-sharpening machines, perforating or stapling machines) will cost Ksh.225 per unit.

Parts and accessories (other than covers, and carrying cases) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 84.70 to 84.72; parts and accessories of automatic data processing machines will cost Ksh.98 per unit.

Line telephone sets with cordless handsets will have a Ksh.225 eco levy deduction a unit.

Smartphones will be charged Ksh.225 per unit, telephones for cellular or wireless networks will cost Ksh.225 per unit and other telephone sets will also pay a similar deduction per unit.

Base stations will pay Ksh.225 per unit.

Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus will cost Ksh.225 a unit.

Other apparatus for transmission or receiving voice, images or other data, including apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network will also pay Ksh.225 per unit.

Microphones and stands will also cost Ksh.98 per unit.

Sound recording apparatus using magnetic, optical or semiconductor media will also cost Ksh.98 per unit.

Radio navigational aid apparatus will be charged Ksh.98 per unit, reception apparatus for radio broadcasting with sound recording or reproducing apparatus, or a clock of Heading 8527 will be charged Ksh.225 per unit.

Reception apparatus for television not designed to incorporate a video display or screen will be charged Ksh.1,275, and unassembled colour television sets will be charged a similar amount same to unassembled monochrome television sets.

Assembled monochrome television sets will also be charged Ksh.1,275 per unit.

Colour cathode ray television tubes will be charged Ksh.1,800 a unit, monochrome cathode ray television tubes will be charged Ksh.1,800 a unit and a similar amount to television camera tubes; image converters and intensifiers; other photo-cathode tubes.

Other instruments and apparatus, specially designed for telecommunications (crosstalk meters, gain measuring instruments, distortion factor meters, psophometers) will pay Ksh.98 per unit.

Plastic packaging materials will be paying Ksh.150 per kg, rubber tyres will pay Ksh.1,000 per unit, batteries or dry cells will pay Ksh.750 per kg and diapers will cost Ksh.150 per kg.

Plastic packaging is where many will directly feel the effects because it touches on everyday products like milk, bread and cooking oil.

Data from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) strategy support shows that a 55% cost increase will be seen in the plastic packaging sector.

KAM says that some of the increments include a 38% cost increase in the pharmaceutical sector, a 2% cost increase in bread, a 6% increase in cooking oil, a 30% increase in diapers and a 57% increase in a 50 kg cement packaging bag.

The association adds that affected commodities under the proposed levies on tyres are wheeler tyres with an upward deduction of 134%, troller wheels at 154%, wheelchair rubber wheels at 200%, dolly wheels at 20% and all tyres in the automotive sector.

Wheelbarrow tyres will now spike to Ksh.1,700 a piece from Ksh.700, wheelchair rubber wheels will shoot to Ksh.1,500 a piece from Ksh.500 and trolley wheels will cost Ksh.1,650 a piece from Ksh.650.

The wheelbarrow price increment is paradoxical to President William Ruto's allegiance to the Kenyan hustlers after he vehemently campaigned on its wheels while pushing his hustler narrative. 

He even deliberately included the wheelbarrow sign in his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party flag, anchoring his governance approach on prioritising Kenyans living below the poverty line.

For diapers, local manufacturers will be needed to remit 30% to the Eco Levy. This now means that one diaper piece will cost Ksh.25.53 up from Ksh.20 (1kg has 33 pieces).

A Jumbo pack of 40 pieces will cost Ksh.971 up from Ksh.750.

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