NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Cabinet on Thursday approved several Bills aimed at significantly improving the economic and business environment in the country.
The adoption of the Bills comes soon after the city of Nairobi was ranked as one of the most competitive locations to invest new capital, in a survey done by the Economist magazine Intelligence Unit.
The Company’s Bill provides for some of the most modern company laws in Africa. Among the proposals in the Bill is the approval of one person company registration and the requirement that companies re-register once they move from being a public entity to private or vice-versa.
The Insolvency Bill governs bankruptcy of companies. It proposes to transform the process of company receivership from one lengthy laborious process to one that gives a company under receivership the chance to revert to normal operations. It also gives clear guidelines and deadlines for the receivership process.
The VAT Bill proposes the zero rating of basic essential commodities such as maize and wheat flour, milk, bread and medical supplies.
It also exempts goods and services for export from VAT and gives better dispute resolution mechanisms between tax payers and the KRA.
The Bill proposes the removal of withholding VAT, the filing of tax returns through ICT while the Minister for Finance will no longer have the provision for remission of tax. The Cabinet reiterated the need to make basic essential commodities affordable by the majority of Kenyans hence the decision to zero rate the goods.
The Ministers further welcomed the decision of the United Nations to re-hat the Kenya Defense Forces in Somalia under the wing of AMISOM and also called for the fast tracking of the Counter Terrorism Bill which will enhance Kenya to deal with terrorism acts.
The Cabinet further ordered for the resettlement of the post election violence and forest evicted internally displaced persons.
“The Cabinet noted that several farms had been approved for the resettlement of the internally displaced persons and ordered that the resettlement begins as a matter of urgency,” a dispatch from the Presidential Press Service said.
During the meeting the leaders also agreed that a five member committee will visit Mombasa to access how the government can deal with congestion at the port. They also resolved that the team will hold talks with the Ugandan government to explore ways in which the port can be decongested.
“It will also seek ways of streamlining the general flow of traffic especially between the port, airport and Makupa causeway. Cabinet underscored the need to deal with the congestion issue in a sustainable manner noting that operations at the port of Mombasa and the Malaba border post were closely intertwined and hence the need to address the congestion issue in a holistic manner,” the Cabinet agreed.