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Glass manufacturers back 25pc duty on imports

By Jeckonia Otieno | May 2nd 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Workers pack bottles at Milly Glass Works factory in Mombasa. [File, Standard]

Kenya’s major glass manufacturers have commended the government’s move to impose a 25 per cent excise duty on glass imports.

Consol Glass and Milly Glass say local manufacturers have the capacity to meet local demand.

“This is the government protecting local industry and if you look at our investment in glass in the region it has had a slow growth because of imports that are being dumped from Egypt, the Middle East and Comesa countries,” Consol Glass Managing Director Joe Mureithi told Weekend Business.

He said because of the dumping there was no accountability, with bottles ending up in the hands of producers of illicit brews.

The 25 per cent duty was introduced through the Business Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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“If you come to our factory, we can tell you who we sell all our bottles to,” said Mr Mureithi.

He said Consol, as a local manufacturer creating jobs in the country, needed to be protected.

Mohamed Rashid, the managing director of Milly Glass in Mombasa, told Weekend Business that the tax would help local manufacturers grow.

He said the competitive edge that glass from Egypt had was due to subsidies that companies got from the government, including transport rebates.

“This (new tax) has levelled the playing ground and gives us a chance of getting back into business because we have been running at just about 40 per cent of our capacity,” said Mr Rashid.

Milly Glass upgraded its manufacturing plant at a cost of Sh600 million last year and the machines have been operating below capacity.

Rashid said the argument by those against the excise duty that local manufacturers lacked capacity was not true.

“There is no truth in people saying we have no technology. The two glass manufacturers in Kenya are operating below capacity because of the imports. Our technology is at par with that in use everywhere else in Africa,” he said. 

Consol Glass Milly Glass Joe Mureithi
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