Kenyans will have to dig deeper into their pockets when buying alcohol if parliament passes the proposal to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.
Danson Mwashako, the Wundanyi MP tabled the bill in parliament. The bill seeks to increase the minimum quantities of alcoholic beverages manufacturers are packaging. Currently, the minimum quantity is 250 ml. The bill seeks to increase this quantity to 750 ml.
The main aim of the bill is to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act to ensure that manufacturers package alcoholic drinks in quantities of 750 ml or more.
Mr Mwashako said that increasing the quantity would be a solution to the menace of excessive drinking. The bill states that currently, youths consume a lot of alcohol because the alcohol is available in very small quantities.
“This is in order to deal with the menace of excessive drinking occasioned by the sale of very low quantities of alcoholic drinks, making it accessible to the youth,” the bill reads in part.
At the moment, manufacturers package hard liquor in minimum quantities of 250ml while they package beers in 300 ml and 500 ml bottles and cans.
Manufacturers oppose the proposed law
Manufacturers have since opposed the proposed law. They noted that if MPs pass the bill, there would be undesirable effects.
Manufacturers have pointed out that if the bill becomes law, they would have to recalibrate their manufacturing processes. Additionally, they would need to order for new bottles to suit the recommendations.
If MPs pass the bill, a bottle of beer will cost 285 shillings instead of the usual 190 shillings.
Stakeholders have raised concerns that if the bill becomes law, people will turn to illegal brews since they would be a cheaper option.
“Our volumes will drop because even now we have the 750ml brands but the sales are low. Beer and spirits will be inaccessible to low-income Kenyans,” a spokesperson of one of the manufacturers told the media.