Artistes happy with State's move to exempt ringtones from excise duty

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By Ndungu Gachane | 2 months ago
Jubilee Insurance CEO Dr. Julius Kipng’etich. (Photo/David Gichuru)

Artistes have welcomed the State's move to exempt ringtones from excise duty.

The move will see artistes earn more from the use of their songs as ringtones.

An event dubbed Skiza Thanksgiving Luncheon held at Royal Media Services Chairperson SK Macharia's home in Gatanga, Muranga County, attracted hundreds of musicians and politicians.

Most of the guests arrived either in choppers or top of the range cars. It was a perfect confluence of money and fame as politicians mingled with the artistes.

For his wealth and means, SK's compound could not accommodate the number of vehicles at the event. The cars snaked almost two kilometres on each side of the road leading to his home.

Financial expert Julius Kipngetich volunteered to offer free financial advice to the artistes, urging the government to enhance artiste-friendly proposals and policies.

He also advised musicians to focus on their music and to have discipline to reap better benefits from the industry.

"Time management requires discipline. Team work and partnership will bring good tidings. Don't be divided stay strong and embark on savings culture," Kipngetich advised.

The Music Lobby Group Chief Coordinator and gospel artiste James Kamau, alias Sir James, credited SK's intervention, and Raila's for bringing major relief to artistes.

The removal of the tax on the ringtones is contained in changes to the Excise Duty Act that took effect this month through the Finance Act 2021 with an aim of lowering the cost of ringtones.

The changes seek to increase the amounts that Safaricom, Airtel and Telcom Kenya pay artists for the use of the songs as ringtones and reduce the amounts that callers pay for use of use of the tunes.

Gospel artiste Ben Githae said the relief will play a major role in uplifting the lives of artistes who he said die poor due to little gains from their music.

"Artistes have big names but live a miserable life due to poor remuneration and huge taxes, this is a major relief to us and we don't take it for granted," Githae.

Last year, Kenya introduced a centralised system for collection of the royalties that targets to net up to Sh1 billion from Sh200 million.

The ceremony brought together celebrities including Solomon Mkubwa, Daddy Owen, Bahati, Martin Wa Janet and Ringtone.

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