No VAT increase on books please- Publishers tell government

The government has been urged to consider removing the 16 per cent tax imposed on books This is in a bid to ensure learners across the country have access to equal and affordable learning materials
Led by the Kenya Publishers Association Chairman, Lawrence Njagi the publishers want the government to scrap the punitive tax to facilitate more learners having access to quality education

He said the taxation had a negative effect of making books un-affordable for most parents. “This unfortunate taxation has the negative effect of making books un-affordable to most parents. The overall effect is that the taxation makes the attainment of education a very expensive affair, which is ironical in the era of free education,” said Njagi.

He also urged the government through the Ministry of Education, to ensure the implementation of the new curriculum is a smooth one by providing funds for purchasing books in good time “The much talked about curriculum would be an exercise in futility if pupils get to class and do not have the relevant books. Once the funds are provided both the Ministry and school administrations should ensure that they are strictly utilized for the intended purpose,” added Njagi

He however assured the government on the association’s commitment stating that books for the new competency based curriculum covering up to grade three have been printed. Speaking during the official opening of the 21st Nairobi International Bookfair, Opposition leader  Raila Odinga challenged publishers to invest in digital publishing, e-books and audio to market and sell their books. He advised publishers in Africa and other third world country to work towards embracing technology and use it to capture the interest of more readers with special consideration to young readers.

While noting that books are some of the strongest symbols of freedom of expression in the society. He reminded publishers and writers of their responsibility to contribute in sustaining awareness on matters of great national importance touching on culture economy politics, ethics and morals

[BUSINESS] Abolish 16 per cent VAT on books, publishers tell government: The government has been urged to consider removing the 16 per cent tax imposed on books.

— Breaking News (@News_Kenya) September 28, 2018

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