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NDEMO: Why new furniture tax will kill the sector - 7 months ago, 11 July 19:00

By: Bitange Ndemo

Does the Cabinet sit together to review major policy changes contained in the Budget? If they do, they should by now have realised that Treasury secretary Henry Rotich’s budget last month contained a proposal that will likely kill the furniture making industry.

As the budget was being presented, Environment secretary Keriako Tobiko was extending the logging freeze in community and public forests for the next six months until December 2018.

Implementation of the ban, however, has become a nightmare. Police cannot differentiate the source of timber and as such the ban affects even those harvesting their own trees.

Effectively, you cannot transport timber without being arrested. As if this was not enough disruption in the sector, Mr Rotich imposed a 35 per cent tax on medium-density fibreboard (MDF), the most used product in the furniture industry.

With the stroke of a pen, we have given foreign companies an instant competitive advantage over local ...
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