Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Thursday said the government will not backtrack on the proposed change contained in the Draft National Automobile Policy, which has caused an uproar among motor dealers.
Mr Munya said a lot of consultations had been done on the policy that seeks to limit the age of used vehicles with engine capacity above 1500cc imported into the country to five instead of the current eight years.
“We have consulted widely and even given enough time as we gradually reduce the age. Those who are not happy with it have an alternative to import smaller cars with the eight years age limit or buy from the local market. Not everyone will support a policy because it is not a consensus building process,” Mr Munya said.
On Monday, used car dealers called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to block the implementation of proposed policy terming it discriminatory and citing lack of consultation.
The Kenya Auto Bazaar Association (Kaba) said the proposed policy, which limits age of imported cars to three years by 2021, will hurt their businesses.
“We strongly feel and believe that this proposed policy is discriminatory and solely designed, motivated and purposed to first frustrate and then destroy completely used-car import business in Kenya,” Kaba Secretary Charles Munyori and Chairperson Major (Rtd) John Kipchumba said in a statement published in local dailies.
Kaba claimed that it contributes Sh49 billion in taxes to the government annually and is a crucial player in fulfilment of Mr Kenyatta’s Big Four manufacturing agenda.
Mr Munya, the policy has several other proposals including more incentives to local manufacturers to make new and affordable cars for the local market.
Second-hand car importers who will be affected by the proposed maximum age of imported cars will have to look for alternative trade as the government stays firm on its intention to revise the used vehicle age limits.