In a groundbreaking announcement during the Budget Statement for the fiscal year 2023/24, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u proposed the introduction of excise duty on imported sugar as a measure to discourage its consumption.
The move perhaps comes as a response to the growing concern over the adverse health effects associated with excessive sugar intake, particularly the rising prevalence of diabetes in many households.
Addressing the National Assembly, MNdung'u highlighted the alarming impact of sugar consumption on public health.
"Consumption of sugar has been associated with various ailments such as diabetes, which has become common in many families," Ndung'u said.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Treasury CS proposed a concrete solution to curb the consumption of sugar and promote healthier dietary choices.
To implement this strategy effectively, Ndung'u suggested the imposition of an excise duty on imported sugar at a rate of Sh5 per kilogram.
This measure aims to make imported sugar less affordable and consequently reduce its consumption among Kenyan citizens.
However, it is important to note that this excise duty will not apply to sugar imported or purchased locally by registered pharmaceutical manufacturers for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
"To discourage consumption of sugar, I propose to the National Assembly to introduce excise duty on imported sugar at the rate of Sh5 per kilogram excluding the sugar imported or purchased locally by registered pharmaceutical manufacturers for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products,” the CS said.
Discouraging the consumption of sugar through taxation has drawn the attention of Kenyans as a rather peculiar way the government seeks to encourage healthier dietary choices among its citizens.