Tough times lie ahead for Kenyans should Parliament approve the proposed taxes for basic commodities in the Finance Bill 2022.
In the Finance Bill 2022, the National Treasury proposes to raise exercise duty of commodities such as fruit juice, bottled water, and and imported potatoes.
The Bill proposes an exercise duty of Ksh13.30 per litre of fruit juice and Ksh6.60 per litre of bottled water.
Additionally, the price of chocolate is set to go up with Treasury proposing a Ksh242.29 per kg exercise duty on white chocolate. This will not be the first time the price of chocolate goes up as in November 2021, the government increased its exercise duty to Ksh220.31 per kg from 209.88 per kg.
The exercise duty imposed on imported potatoes, potato crisps, and potato chips is set to go up by 25 per cent while that of ice cream will go up by 15 per cent should Parliament approve the Finance Bill, 2022.
However, prices of commodities such as eggs could go down as the Finance Bill proposes exercise duty exemption for imported fertilized eggs. Also proposed for exemption from exercise duty are neutral spirits.
For the past few months, prices of basic food commodities such as bread and other wheat products have skyrocketed owing to the ongoing Russia - Ukraine war as the two countries are the biggest exporters of wheat globally.
On March 31, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) listed 14 household items whose prices had gone up in the month of March due to inflation.
Prices of wheat flour white, cooking oil, and tomatoes increased by 4.47, 6.50, and 4.22 per cent in March 2022, respectively.
Notably, the government is set to face hurdles in Parliament with leaders allied to Deputy President calling out Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, for reading the budget before Parliament approved relevant legislation such as the Finance Bill.
The budget was read in advance given the time constrictions posed by the August 9 General Election. Garissa Township MP, Aden Duale, stated on Saturday, April 9, that Kenya Kwanza parliamentary caucus will propose changes to the budget through the various National Assembly committees.
"A Minister of Finance without following the due process was telling Kenyans about proposals and allocations. When the speaker refers the budget to the committees we will reallocate what Yatani allocated. The budget is not yet done until Parliament approves," he stated.