Authority alarmed over trade barriers in counties

May 12, 2014
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Governors have been trying to take over the milling and marketing of the crop in bid to give more returns on investment to farmers/FILE
Governors have been trying to take over the milling and marketing of the crop in bid to give more returns on investment to farmers/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The Competition Authority of Kenya is set to meet with County Governors to pinpoint restrictive practices that are hindering potential investors and competition in counties.

Speaking at a journalists’ training session in Naivasha, the Competition Authority of Kenya Director General Wangombe Kariuki says some of the investment measures the Governors are implementing in their counties are hindering potential investors.

Among the issues in counties include the management of coffee.

Governors have been trying to take over the milling and marketing of the crop in bid to give more returns on investment to farmers.

Among the counties affected are Kiambu County, Nyeri County, Murang’a County and Kirinyaga County.

“This is among the things we are set to look into this financial year. We need the Governors to put up measures that do not affect investments, “he said.

He said uneven levies in counties are also problematic and will deter investments.

“There is one county that has very heavy levies on lying down of fibre optic cables, while others are offering cheap levies; some of these things will hinder investments. We are keen on what the counties are doing,” he said.

The authority plans to incorporate other government agencies in the planned Governors’ workshop.

On Monday, the authority hosted various industry associations and regulatory authorities to guide them against practices contravening the Competition Act.

The associations and authorities Include: The Cereal Millers Association, the Petroleum Institute of East Africa, Kenya Bankers Association, Energy Regulatory Commission, Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, Communication Authority of Kenya among others.

Kariuki says there are practices which competing firms working through industry associations are engaged in that contravene the Act.

He also raised concerns over the edible oil business owing to the huge price gap between local prices and international prices.

“Kenyan prices are way higher than the international prices. This is alarming,” he said.

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