The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and Parliament have agreed on several measures to help steer Kenya’s economy towards sustainable growth in the short and long term.
During a two-day long event, the joint committee between KEPSA and Parliament also identified the deterrents to development in Kenya including unpredictable and unstable policies and legal framework which disrupt investment planning.
Deterrents to development in Kenya
The committee also highlighted the high cost of production, trade in counterfeits, contraband and substandard goods, high taxation for an already overburdened taxpayer instead of increasing tax base as other disruptors of consistent development in the country.
Short-term development plans that are mostly tied to the term of a government, political instability in Kenya especially during every electioneering period, corruption and revenue leakages, lack of convergence in the Big Four agenda and lack of a stable fiscal and tax regime were other shortfalls listed by the committee.
To address these issues, KEPSA and the National Assembly adopted a sectoral approach in defining the role of the National Assembly while working together with the private sector in realizing the Big Four Agenda.
KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki emphasized the need for a strong relationship between the private sector and the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly has a key role of supporting and spurring private sector growth through the development of requisite legislation that facilitates ease of doing business and making Kenya competitive for investment,” Kariuki said.
During the meeting, the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi asked MPs to work with the private sector to help achieve the goals of the government’s Big Four Agenda in the shortest time possible.
“One of our primary goals is working closely with the private sector to spur attainment of the Big Four Agenda. This partnership will help create more industries needed for job growth and economic stability and the National Assembly is open to listening to ideas about how to further the cooperation with the private sector,” Muturi said.
Among the raft of resolutions and action points include the National Assembly developing a law to ensure prompt payment of suppliers and contractors and supporting the multilateral task force against illicit trade.
Parliament is expected to address illicit trading by fast-tracking enactment of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 2018 which provides for stiffer penalties on counterfeits.
To fight corruption, Parliament is expected to strengthen and institutionalize the independent and constitutional offices like the DCI, Judiciary.
In addition, the National Assembly is to consider reviewing VAT on agrochemicals and inputs on farm products; support local manufacturing and cottage industries by providing incentives to the locally owned companies, promoting the purchase of locally manufactured products and making it expensive to import products.
Lawmakers are also to develop a requisite regulatory framework that fosters holistic approach to universal health care and reviewing the tax regime with a focus on expanding the tax base and reducing the tax burden on the taxpayers.
Competency-Based Curriculum which is useful in matching skills to the job market, streamlining ICT, Education, Land, Energy and Mining Sector and Environment and Natural resources are other aspects parliament is expected to focus on to improve the country’s competency.
The National Assembly and KEPSA will also engage the Executive with a view to developing a long-term development policy building on the Vision 2030 Blue Print with a view to having a stable policy environment in order to spur economic growth.
KEPSA and the National Assembly will also work to develop legislation and review existing sector-specific laws aimed at creating a conducive environment for business, improving ease of doing business and making the economy competitive to investors including but not limited to reviewing the cost of energy and labour.