, pub-7771400403364887, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 The Impact of Finance Act 2023: Increased Sugar Prices and Suspended Operations

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The Impact of Finance Act 2023: Increased Sugar Prices and Suspended Operations

The recent implementation of the Finance Act 2023 in Kenya has resulted in significant changes in the sugar industry. With the introduction of excise duty on imports and a temporary shutdown of local production, Kenyans are now facing the prospect of higher sugar prices. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind these changes, the implications for consumers, and the reactions from the public.

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Increased Sugar Prices:
One of the primary reasons for the hike in sugar prices is the introduction of an excise duty of KSh 5 per kilogramme on imported sugar. This move is aimed at promoting local manufacturing and self-sufficiency in the sugar industry. However, the immediate effect has been a decrease in the availability of imported sugar, leading to limited supply and higher prices. A 2kg packet of sugar now retails between KSh 450 to KSh 500, with further increases expected in the future due to the scarcity.

Temporary Shutdown of Local Sugar Millers:
To facilitate the growth of sugarcane in the Western part of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Authority has issued directives to local sugar millers to suspend their operations until November 2023. This decision aims to allow the sugarcane crops to mature fully, leading to higher yields and quality sugar production. However, this temporary shutdown further exacerbates the scarcity of sugar in the market, contributing to the increased prices.

Public Reactions:
The rising sugar prices have sparked debates among Kenyans, with some expressing their concerns and frustrations. Social media platforms have been filled with discussions about the impact of these changes. Some individuals have questioned the effectiveness of the excise duty on imports, particularly since local production has been suspended temporarily, leading to accusations of sugar hoarding. Others have expressed their intention to reduce or eliminate their sugar consumption altogether due to the high prices.

Potential Solutions:
Addressing the concerns and finding solutions to the current sugar crisis is crucial. One suggestion is for the government to invest heavily in Western Sugar Co and provide substantial support to farmers. This could involve partnering with the military to ensure efficient management and production in the sector. Additionally, measures could be put in place to increase local sugar production, such as providing incentives and support to farmers and millers.

The implementation of the Finance Act 2023 in Kenya has had a significant impact on the sugar industry, resulting in increased prices and the temporary shutdown of local sugar millers. While the aim is to promote self-sufficiency and support local manufacturing, the immediate consequences have brought challenges for consumers. Efforts should be made to address the concerns raised by the public and explore sustainable solutions to ensure a stable sugar market in the future.

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