KEPSA urges lawmakers to back business reforms

June 7, 2015
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KEPSA Director Vimal Shah/FILE
KEPSA Director Vimal Shah/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is seeking the National Assembly’s support in facilitating reforms in the business sector.

During a round table discussion with the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi over the weekend, KEPSA vice chairperson Laila Macharia outlined five thematic areas requiring Parliament’s support to enhance competitiveness and improve the overall business environment in the country.

The five areas under the National Business Agenda are: improving governance and the business regulatory environment, upgrading security, infrastructure development, enhancement of trade and investment and promoting human capital development and entrepreneurship.

“The business community, by creating decent jobs, paying taxes, instilling the values of discipline and ambition will deliver Vision 2030 for Kenya. Yet, the private sector cannot thrive without a conducive environment, supportive leadership and progressive policies, laws and regulatory environment,” said Macharia.

She explained that their resolve was to have quality business and regulatory policies, legislations and processes that improve the business environment in Kenya so that it was easier to register a business, enforce contracts, resolve commercial disputes and simplify tax systems and promote tax inclusion.

“We also want integrity in both public and private sectors so that we can curb leakage in public funds and direct this to development,” she added.

KEPSA’s Policy and Research Manager Victor Ogalo who spoke on behalf of the CEO called on the National Assembly to fast track the enactment of the Companies Act Amendment Bill, the Insolvency Bill and the Business Registration and Service Bill so as create an enabling environment for investment by simplifying business set up procedures and reducing compliance and reporting requirements on businesses.

“With a vibrant private sector government revenues expand, more jobs and economic opportunities are created and this contributes to a stable economy,” said Ogalo.

KEPSA also noted the importance of security in enhancing business lamenting over the state of security in the country which almost crippled the tourism sector.

“Of utmost priority is the speeding up of police reforms, reduction of cybercrime, improvement of the healthcare system and tackling climate change,” Macharia said.

On his part, Speaker Muturi said the National Assembly had come up with the Committee on Implementation to track proposals by agencies including the National Government to work with the private sector to review laws that affect them.

He pointed out that through this consultation, some Bills had been recalled after it emerged that they were not favorable to the business environment and had since been redrafted and re-introduced to the House.

“KEPSA had called for the repealing of certain proposals, the first bill that came up were convoluted and you in KEPSA pointed those out, a more consultative process was adopted and the Bills were recalled,” said Muturi.
“Through this cooperation will be able to get what is suitable in implementing the parent legislation,”

The meeting was meant to create opportunities for engagement to secure a legislative agenda that promotes economic development and private sector participation.

This was the third round-table meeting with the Speaker. Similar meetings have been held with the President, Cabinet Secretaries, the Council of Governors, the Judiciary, EAC Regional Ministerial Forum and other development partners.

In attendance were chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of Parliament’s departmental committees, MPs and KEPSA members.

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