from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau Chief
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – AGAINST the backdrop of the coronavirus scourge, the private sector and the government of Kenya have met to resolve long-standing issues.
Kenya’s Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) held the meetings with the administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta, through National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC).
Among the updates KEPSA provided, resolutions included the implementation of the energy rebate programme to lower power costs for manufacturers, reduction of Railway Development Levy (RDL) and
Import Declaration Fee (IDF) on manufacturing inputs from 2 percent to 1,5 percent as well as the increase from 2 percent to 3 percent on finished goods to improve competitiveness of Kenyan goods.
There was also the reduction of the number of agencies at Mombasa Port and the capital city Nairobi from 27 to four for faster clearance of cargo, expediting payment of pending bills and value-added tax (VAT) refunds, the establishment of Credit Guarantee Scheme for small and medium enterprises as well as consolidation of various enterprise funds to form one Biashara Bank.
Three Presidential Roundtables were held, to link local producers and traders with policy support from government and the other with European Business Council (EBC).
The third and most recent session was held in March 2020 over KEPSA’s Economic Management Framework for Covid-19 Response, leading to the unveiling of the Economic Stimulus Measures for the country’s economic stability.
KEPSA stated that businesses especially appreciated the stimulus measures that led to the reduction of VAT from 16 to 14 percent, Corporation Tax from 30 to 25 percent, pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) from 30 to 25 percent and 100 percent waiver for those earning less than KSh24 000 (US222).
Meanwhile, KEPSA also formed the COVID-19 Business Response Committee, bringing together all key sectors to coordinate response measures by different industries.
“As the country and world at large battles COVID-19, the year 2020 will undoubtedly be a tough one for businesses,” Carole Karuga, the KEPSA Chief Executive Officer, said.
KEPSA is championing for sustainable development, green and circular economy. It also co-chairs of the Kenya National Platform on Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals.
– CAJ News