Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) engaged Council of Governors, Commissioner of Revenue Authority and County Assemblies Forum on September 7 2016 in view of addressing Inter-County trade challenges in the country.
Manufacturers cited issues such as company drivers being arrested and harassed by county officers, Losses in terms of damaged goods and spoilt fresh produce when it is impounded as county officers make demands for branding fees and other charges, lack of legislation to guide revenue management and the lack of utilisation of ICT in revenue collection among others.
Speaking at the forum, KAM CEO, Phyllis Wakiaga stated that manufacturers are still facing challenges in inter-county trade despite intervention through policy formulation and legal frameworks in place.
KAM participated in the KPA stakeholders meeting on 6th September, 2016 at KPA ICD in Embakasi.
Key issues noted included:
For the last two months, there has been an increase in the trade license issues received from members while distributing goods in Embu, Murang’a and Nyeri Counties.
KAM has since engaged officials from Embu, Nyeri and Murang’a Counties to begin the conversation on how KAM will partner with them to lay down structures for trade (distribution) licenses. Structures that will facilitate smooth transfer of goods and services for our members.
Since 2013, internal barriers to trade and free movement of goods in form of negative revenue raising measures by the 47 counties have increased; through introduction of multiplicity of business regulations, licenses, fees and charges without due regard to the principal legislations such as the Statutory Instruments Act, which provides for impact assessment on the economy.
Whereas KAM recognises the need for Counties to raise revenue, county governments should strive to strike balance between promotion of business growth and raising the revenue.
The haphazard manner in which these permits are being charged is alarming. The charges vary per instance, raising a lot of questions on their validity. Harassment by the county revenue/enforcement officials has also been reported on several occasions. Also due to the perishable nature of some of the products being distributed, some of these cases require be resolved with urgency. However, sometimes urgent and satisfactory solution is hard to achieve due to lack of proper relationship channels with the county governments in question.
Cases Reported within the last 3 months included: