President William Ruto's government has announced a tax exemption for the importation of dates during the upcoming Ramadhan period, a decision that has been warmly received by the Muslim community in Kenya.
Ruto grants Muslims early Ramadhan gift with tax-free imports
Defence CS Aden Duale: We sincerely appreciate President Ruto for expressing the government's support and solidarity with the Muslim community
This announcement comes following a request from the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and highlights the government's commitment to supporting religious practices and cultural diversity.
Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims worldwide, will commence on March 1, 2024.
Traditionally, Muslims break their fast each evening with dates before consuming other foods.
Recognizing this cultural significance, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Njuguna Ndung'u, has instructed the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to facilitate the tax-free importation of dates from March 1, to April 20, 2024.
In a letter addressed to the Commissioner General of KRA, Humphrey Mulongo, Ndung'u highlighted the government's commitment to supporting the Muslim community.
"The Ramadhan period is a time of great significance, and this gesture is a reflection of our respect and support for the Muslim community in Kenya," stated Ndung'u.
SUPKEM, representing the Muslim community in Kenya, has received several offers from international donors to provide dates for the Ramadhan period.
The tax exemption will not only make it easier for SUPKEM to distribute these dates but also underscores the government's dedication to fostering religious harmony and mutual respect among different communities.
The policy will see the government absorbing the import declaration fees and railway development levy on the imported dates.
Lucy Ng'ang'a, acting Deputy Commissioner for Policy & International Affairs at KRA, has issued an internal memo to all staff, outlining the procedures for the clearance of these dates.
"This decision requires meticulous execution to ensure that the dates are used for the intended purpose during the holy month of Ramadhan," Ng'ang'a emphasized.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale lauded President Ruto for his support.
"We sincerely appreciate President Ruto for expressing the government's support and solidarity with the Muslim community of Kenya through importation of duty free dates during this year's Holy month of Ramadan," he said.
He added that this gesture of kindness is an affirmation of the country's belief in a unified nation of diverse religious practices as enshrined in the Constitution.
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