On the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) would like to state the following:
KAM notes with concern the recent rejection of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill by Parliament.
It is unconscionable for law-makers at this critical point in our economy to dilute efforts of local manufacturers to recover economically and invest in this country.
The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill proposed to amend the Principal Act by:
By rejecting the Bill, Parliament sends a clear message to local manufacturers, local creators and innovators that the country is not at all committed to nurturing their businesses. This move erodes the competitiveness of Made in Kenya products and gives full advantage to foreign products which already highly encroach the local market share.
From the economic lessons of the pandemic we need to prioritize being self-sufficient as a country, and yet policies such as these move contrary and push us further into being a trading nation.
It contradicts the 2015 Presidential Directive that requires that 40% of public procurement be reserved for locally produced goods and services, which was actualized by the Buy Kenya Build Kenya (BKBK) Policy. Already, 334 manufactured products have been gazetted by the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.
Needless to say, that further decline in the growth of the local sector will increase the already high rates of unemployment.
Consumer landscapes are changing and businesses are adapting to the new normal, as they grapple with challenges caused by COVID-19. The proposed Bill would have supported the maintenance and strengthening of supply chains, to ensure there are no disruptions in future, in the presence of a crisis.
The Association wishes to assure all Kenyan citizens of our local industries’ capacity to sustainably produce high quality products for the country and export markets.
We urge Parliament to review their decision on the Bill for the sake of our Nation, our economic goals, our people and our collective future.