NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 6 – The government says it will be possible for investors to register their businesses online by September.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae told Parliament that the e-registration will ensure that investors have ease of setting up businesses in the country.
He said his ministry is working on the Business Regulation Bill to simplify the process and will soon table it in Parliament.
The Bill will also give a legal framework to regulate charges levied by Local Authorities.
The legislation will establish a high profile Regulatory Reform Committee that will spearhead the reform process, with the assistance of the Business Regulatory Reform Unit (BRRU).
The committee comprises appointees from various government ministries with three slots for the private sector to inform the government on the woes of businessmen.
Githae was responding to a query by Konoin MP Julius Kones who wanted to know what the government was doing to respond to the 2011-2012 Doing Business Report that was prepared by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank that slammed Kenya as an investment destination. Kenya was ranked number 109 in the world.
He claimed the cumbersome processes and multiple licenses required to set up and operate business in the country, saying they had made Kenya less attractive for foreign and even local entrepreneurs.
Kones had asked: “What reform measures has the government taken to simplify payment of taxes and regulations for investors and what achievements have been made in improving the business environment to attract new investments in the country?”
It is then that the Finance Minister said that the government was aware that the business regulation environment was haphazard and that the processes too were inordinately long.
Githae said he banked on the Bill to bring changes to the circumlocutory practices and woo investors into the country.
The minister said that there are many regulatory authorities which include; the Public Health, the National Environment Management Authority, the Local Authorities and the Ministry of Trade are just some of those whose licenses are sought before investors begin business.
“We need a change of attitude in this country. When an investor comes, we should rush to him, because he’s doing us a favour by coming to invest in this country. We should not put so many roadblocks on the investor’s way,” said Githae.
Githae also revealed that the registration of business had been shortened from two months to a month, with the aim of having the Registrar of Companies reduce the period to 14 days.