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Ruto gives Muslims a month tax-free importation offer

President William Ruto has given the Muslim community in the country a one-month duty-free offer ahead of the Ramadhan period.

According to a statement shared by Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale on Wednesday, January 31, President Ruto has allowed the businessmen to import dates that will used during the Ramadhan period without paying the stipulated duty.

The move comes five days after the Supreme Council of Muslims in Kenya (SUPKEM) made an application to the Ministry of Treasury requesting the importation of duty-free dates from March 10 to April 9, 2024.

Dates are sweet, chewy fruit of the date palm tree. They are mostly eaten by Muslims during the Ramadhan period.

Duale noted that Ruto liaised with the Kenya Revenue Authority to set the duty-free period between 10th March to 9th April.

The Defence CS thus appreciated Ruto for the offer indicating that it was key to strengthening religious institutions in the country.

Ramadan in Kenya in 2024 is expected to begin on the evening of Sunday, March 10th, and continue until sunset on Tuesday, April 9th.

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“We sincerely appreciate H.E President William Ruto for expressing the Government’s support and solidarity with the Muslim Community of Kenya through the importation of duty-free dates during this year’s Holy month of Ramadan, expected to run between 10th March to 9th April,” Duale’s statement read in part.

“This continued gesture of kindness is an affirmation of our belief in a unified nation of diverse religious practices as enshrined in the Constitution.”

However, in the notice issued by KRA, traders will be required to make a formal application before receiving the exemption certificate.

Moreover, all the imported goods will be scanned by KRA for risk management. 

Further KRA officials will tabulate all records including the size of the consignment, importation date, and other relevant details which will be shared with the National Treasury.

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