The Kenya Flower Council attended a stakeholders meeting on January 23, 2014 organized by Nakuru County leaders to address the contentious issues in the County’s finance bill 2013 and develop a consensus on the way forward. The meeting was attended by over 200 stakeholders from business community across the board. Led by the Nakuru County Governor HE Kinuthia Mbugua also present were Cabinet Executives, Chief Officers, Member of Parliament and Members of the County Assembly.
The County’s Finance Officer made a presentation on the financial bill. Other presentations were from the private sector (from all sub counties) and Business Management Organizations.
It was reported that the county received 5.9 Billion from the Commission of Revenue Allocation with 4.2 billion going to pay remunerations leaving only 1.7 billion for development. Owing to the above the county is strategizing on where to get money to develop the county as they aspire to position the county not only for national business but also for global economies.
HE Kinuthia acknowledged that the county did not sufficiently consult with the stakeholders when they drafted the finance bill 2013 and it was agreed that enforcement officers will be using the correct information when they get in touch with business people. The information will be shared as widely as possible to avoid exploitation and frustration of tax payers. The County will enhance Public participation during drafting of future County budget and county finance bill.
The Governor said although the finance bill is law there is a provision for legal amendment which can be forwarded to the county Assembly for adoption. He acknowledged the fact that devolution is a learning process for all which is key in legislation and budget planning.
Single Business permit
This has been raised by 20-30 percent although this is not the case across the board according to the stakeholders. For the flower industry the cost has gone up by 250%. The industry is however willing to absorb the cost as long as the services to facilitate export with due regard to other regulatory services which are more than 40+ for the industry. The flower industry proposed the same to be consolidated through an efficient and effective process.
The Governor resolved to review the 1% cess on turnover charge on the flower industry with a view to adopting charge based on volume instead of turnover. It was agreed that the cess previously paid to HCDA should now cater for the above. In addition, the organizations across the board were encouraged register their members for effective coordination.
Single point of payment
The forum agreed that the county will inform taxpayers where to pay their taxes either through selected banks or via mobile phones where practical.
The flower industry will submit a new proposal along the discussions held yesterday.