NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – Sh6 billion has been set aside in 2013/2014 budget to ensure that the youth engage in income generating programmes.
The government says it will make funds easily accessible to them in all parts of the country under a better delivery mechanism modelled along the lines of the County Development Fund.
Announcing the budget allocations in Parliament on Thursday, Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich said the Jubilee government was committed to address challenges facing youths and to expand economic opportunities for women, youth and persons with disability.
“Our economy has potential to grow and create jobs if we tap into the reservoir of talents and skills available amongst our women and youth, who are the majority,” he said.
He added that the government will develop a subsidy programme to employers that will lower the cost of hiring young people without work experience.
In response to the employers’ reluctance to hire inexperienced job-seekers, the cabinet secretary revealed that initiatives were underway to improve information services to help young people access jobs and training opportunities.
“We are putting in top gear our business regulatory reforms, including making it easy and faster to register a business and also we are set to engage with the county governments, to ensure that obtaining construction and business permit in any part of the country takes a shorter time,” he revealed.
He added that the government will digitize the process of acquiring business permits so that one can make payments “from the comfort of your home through your phones or online banking services.”
Rotich further said the government was reforming the tax system to make paying taxes and trading across border much easier. “All government regulatory agencies are urged to ensure this commitment becomes a reality in the shortest time possible,” he urged.
“Through the enactment of Biashara Kenya Bill now under formulation, we shall provide a one-stop shop solution to all small and medium size enterprises covering the entire business chain -such as skill and business development, product standardization and branding, access to credit, business incubation services, and market access,” he added.
The Jubilee government also intends to make the public procurement process play a leading role in driving growth, creating quality jobs and reducing poverty in our economy.
“Under the Jubilee administration, we are reforming the public procurement to reduce the turnaround time to complete a procurement process and make it less cumbersome, more transparent and supportive to our economic transformation agenda,” he explained.
In this regard, the Cabinet Secretary said he had made proposed amendments to the procurement law; enhance the preference and reservation for youth, women and persons with disability, from 10 percent to 30 percent, to accord exclusive preferences to local firms that manufacture, assemble, grow, extract or mine goods in priority areas such as construction materials and related supplies, furniture, motor vehicles and foodstuffs – buy Kenya, build Kenya.
He also recommended that time required to initiate and award of tenders to be reduced to not more than 30 days.