Prepare to dig deeper into your pockets if at all you are a consumer of bottled water whether as little as 500ml or as much as 20 liters says the Water Bottlers Association of Kenya (WBAK).
The Water Bottlers Association of Kenya has requested the government to remove the excise duty on bottled water saying it will affect the pricing of refilled and bottled water which will make it unaffordable to a majority of Kenyans.
WBAK noted, in a press conference held on Thursday, 8th of November 2019 that the water bottling companies would have to pass the extra cost to the consumers if the government goes ahead to implement the excise duty of 5.40 shillings per liter of purified water.
The excise duty on bottled water is hence set to dramatically affect bottled water prices as of November 13th, 2019.
“This means that the new excise tax will lead to the retail cost of a 20-liter water container retailing at between 250 shillings and 350 shillings to between 450 shillings and 550 shillings,” Mr. Henry Kabogo, the chairman of WBAK said.
WBAK which is the agency that regulates bottlers, refillers, and vendors of purified drinking water spread out across the country, has urged that the Kenya Revenue Authority reconsiders before implementing the excise duty.
“Our association comprises genuine business people that are committed to doing the right thing in compliance with KEBS Standards,” Mr. Kabogo said adding that the association also urged relevant government agencies to increase surveillance programs to ensure a level playing ground for all businesses.
“In addition, our members uphold their citizenry duty of paying taxes to the government. In return, we just want the government to remove this exercise duty which will affect the pricing of bottled water,” Mr. Kabogo concluded.
Most households, offices and public facilities, especially in the urban parts of Kenya, have taken into the consumption of bottled water not forgetting local and international tourists and unless the government reviews the proposed excise duty, then it’s likely to be unaffordable for most of them.