Billionaire entrepreneur Narendra Raval, widely recognized as Guru, has endorsed the contentious Finance Act of 2023, citing its inclusion of incentives that stand to advantage local manufacturers.

Raval, through his company Devki Steel Mills Ltd, was granted permission by a panel of three judges to join and defend the case, even as multiple parties and advocates contest certain provisions of the Act and seek their annulment.

Justices David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi allowed Devki Steel Mills and the Electric Mobility Association of Kenya (EMAK) to join the case as interested parties following their request to provide their perspectives on the Finance Act.

“That in the circumstances, the applicant (Devki) being a local manufacturer has a direct personal interest in the matter and if the court proceeds to hear the case without the applicant being joined as an interested party, the applicant stands to suffer irreparable harm, prejudice and damage,” the tycoon said in an affidavit filed in court.

Mr Raval asserted that Section 70 of the Finance Act, 2023, which outlines the Export and Investment Promotion Levy applicable to all imported goods, will serve to promote local manufacturing by offering incentives.

The businessman further argued that the country experiences an annual loss of over Sh800 million due to the importation of steel products, factoring in the impact of varying exchange rates.

Raval also mentioned the importation of cheap and substandard steel products renders manufacturing in Kenya unsustainable.