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MPs censure Kenya Revenue Authority on foregone sugar tax

MPs also blamed KRA for issuing licenses to 14 companies which were already blacklisted and allowing Mumias Sugar Company to import 10,000 metric tons of sugar through a third party./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul, 13- A parliamentary committee says failure by Kenya Revenue Authority to enforce its mandate may have caused the country to lose billions of shillings in taxation to sugar imported into the country.

The National Assembly Implementation Committee led by Moitalel Ole Kenta accused KRA of not implementing the KPMG Report on the state of the sugar sector in the country which was adopted by the Eleventh Parliament.

“Can you confirm to this committee that any outstanding amount was actually collected by KRA? You know an illegality was committed and we are actually not investigating the report we are following on its implementation,” said Moitale

MPs also blamed KRA for issuing licenses to 14 companies which were already blacklisted and allowing Mumias Sugar Company to import 10,000 metric tons of sugar through a third party.

“The question would then be how many other importers did the same? This is the reason why we have unregulated amount of sugar in the country,” said Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati.

While echoing Arati’s sentiments, Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, reminded KRA that according to the report adopted by the eleventh parliament, it was illegal for any importer to bring in products in the country on behalf of any other licensed company saying KRA had shown unwillingness or laxity to deal with sugar scandals since 2006.

“You are not willing to give us the information needed, in the history of sugar customs; you should not have allowed Dante Peak Company or any other company to import sugar on behalf of Mumias,” Onyonka added.

However, KRA General Commissioner John Njiraini said the Authority has not received the KPMG report, requesting for more time to go through it and respond when it appears before the committee again on Friday.

In the KPMG report tabled by the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock then, one of the recommendations was that companies that cleared through KRA without permits from KSB should be banned from importing sugar into the Country.

Equally, KRA should be reprimanded for clearing the sugar without permits and officers responsible should be punished accordingly.

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