20 June 2012

Kenya: Iron and Steel Manufacturers Get Boost

Photo: Capital FM
Sh25.2 billion will finance the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project, which aims to strengthen urban services and infrastructure in Nairobi and its environs.

Local manufacturers have welcomed the introduction of a 10 per cent duty on imported galvanised wire, saying this will cushion the industry from cheaper imports.

When presenting the Budget statement on Thursday, Finance minister Njeru Githae introduced a 10 per cent duty on imported galvanised wire, which was previously zero-rated, as one of the measures taken to protect local iron and steel production.

"Our manufacturing sub-sector has been going through tough times due to various challenges especially unfair competition from cheap imports from the Far East," said Githae. "In this regard and in order to cushion our iron and steel manufacturers from this undesirable practice, I propose to increase import duty on galvanised wire from zero per cent to 10 per cent," he said.

Deputy managing director of Athi River Mining, which manufactures construction materials, said the country needs more incentives for value addition as this could go a long way in boosting competitiveness. "We did not really expect reduction of duties on imported goods so as to support the local manufacturing industry," he said, adding that injection of stimulus into the infrastructure sector which includes roads and railways is are crucial to achieving the long term development goals.

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