State defends new tax on tea
THE government has defended a new tax on tea arguing it will revamp the industry. Agriculture permanent secretary Romano Kiome said the Ad valorem tax, where growers will be charged 1 per cent of the value of tea sold, will help farmers replace their old bushes with new clones developed by the Tea Research Foundation to improve the quality of tea.
“The tax introduced should not be seen as if the money is going to waste, the money is going to be used to improve the quality of tea by replacing the old tea bushes with new clones” said Kiome. He said that the levy is going to be used for research, marketing and value addition to help farmers upgrade their tea so that tea production can increase. Most farmers have opposed the new tax warning that it will have an impact the industry which is yet to recover from the effects of frost that destroyed tea worth million of shillings.