Tens of workers at Keroche breweries can now breathe a sigh of relief after they were recalled back to work after it resumed operations following an agreement with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on repayment of sh.957 million tax arrears.
The tax standoff pitting the liquor company and the tax man over accrued tax arrears of over a period of one year saw the company operations shut down exposing over 250 direct workers and thousands in their distribution network to job losses.
But yesterday, the Company Chief Executive Tabitha Karanja assured that all the workers are back to work after the plant roared back to life after being closed for more than six weeks due to its failure to clear outstanding tax dues.
According to Karanja, the company resumed operations after they reached an agreement with KRA to settle undisputed tax arrears of sh. 957 million over a period of 24 months starting January this year.
The CEO lauded KRA for amicably solving the standoff adding that the company will pay sh.21 million as goodwill and repay the balances in arrears within the agreed period.
Karanja said the company has been unable to operate optimally for the last three months due to the tax disputes with KRA, a move which affected its financial inflows.
As the company resumed production at its Naivasha based plant, Karanja exuded optimism of bouncing back to business and profitability to enable them clear the tax arrears.
“All of our direct workers have been recalled to work and our customers should expect our various beers in the next two days,” said Karanja.
The CEO was happy to note that through the agreement, KRA will also lift agency notices issued to 36 banks in the country which she noted will allow the company access to its funds and business loans to enable it run its operations.
Karanja at the same time appealed to the government through parliament to enact legislation that supports and protects local companies through offering tax breaks, extended grants, moratoriums and provision of low interest rates during unprecedented disruptions such as the Covid 19 pandemic.
Consequently, Karanja thanked Kenyans for supporting their business during the negotiations period adding that support for local industries is crucial to drive the country forward.