𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗𝗘 𝗔𝗟𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗡𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗨𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗢𝗪𝗧𝗛 𝗠𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗨𝗥𝗘𝗦, 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗜𝗧𝗧𝗘𝗘 𝗧𝗘𝗟𝗟𝗦 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗞𝗘𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗗𝗘𝗥𝗦 𝗢𝗣𝗣𝗢𝗦𝗘𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗦𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘 𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗟
The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning has challenged the stakeholders appearing before the Committee to make submissions during the week-long public hearings on the Finance Bill, to provide alternative solutions even as they lament over the provisions that do not sit well with them.
Addressing representatives from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Members led by the Chairperson Hon. Kimani Kuria underscored the fact that the country has to grow revenues to not only seal the deficit gap but to also help fund the government programs and meet other government obligations.
“We all live in this country and are aware of the dire economic situation the country is in. I reckon that some of the provisions contained in the Bill for instance the export levy was meant to promote local manufacturing. We are surprised that you are opposed to it. We have also noticed that you have different recommendations on certain provisions. If you really want to grow local manufacturing, you must speak with one voice”, the chairman told the stakeholders.
He told the stakeholders that the ripple effect that would emanate from for instance, the proposed National Housing Development Fund is great given the jobs that the program is set to create, and the demand for inputs the program will create for the manufacturing sector. He wondered that a majority of stakeholders had not supported the provision despite its projected impact .
Speaking on the same matter, Committee Members led by Kitui Rural MP, Hon. David Mboni, Turkana South MP, Dr. John Ariko, Chesumei MP, Hon. Paul Biego challenged the stakeholders to be realistic with their prayers to the Committee. They pointed out the fact that the Committee had found itself between a rock and hard place as they try to balance the interests of taxpayers and the need to grow revenues.
“This Committee has a tough assignment before it. Everyone who has come here is telling us, delete this clause, delete that one. However, we also need alternative ideas. If you’re opposed to this proposal, give an alternative that will help us raise revenues”, the MPs told the stakeholders.
The Stakeholders in their submissions had asked the Committee to critically relook at the some provisions in the Bill so as to safeguard the interests of the manufacturing sector while enhancing the competitiveness of Kenyan businesses. They had also decried the unpredictability of the tax regime discouraging foreign direct investments.
They further called on the government to promote business certainty through appropriate tax dispute resolution mechanisms. They lamented over the proposal that before appealing a disputed tax decision, parties must deposit an amount equal to 20 per cent of the disputed tax or security with the Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General. They noted that such a move would affect taxpayers’ cash flow and pleaded for the status quo to remain.
At the same time, the Committee Chairperson has underscored the need for regular engagements with both KEPSA and KAM so as to deliberate on issues affecting the sectors and offer insights to Members so as to promote evidence driven legislation. He undertook to oversee the enactment of a Tax Policy by the National Assembly so as to promote a free predictable tax regime.
𝗪𝗲𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟯,𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯
The hearings continue tomorrow.