The Kenya Flower Council attended devolution and planning Ministerial stakeholder’s forum at Harambee House on February 18, 2015. The meeting covered a range of issues including the rising cost of doing business in the Counties following the introduction of devolved system of Government.
According to the Government an Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) has been formed and has directed the National Treasury, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the Council of Governors (CoG) to constitute an inter-agency committee to discuss ways of streamlining the revenue collection by counties to ensure that businesses operating in and across counties are not affected. The inter-agency will have a policy paper by end of March 2015.
Among other proposed interventions is a civic education programme to sensitize counties on the development of business friendly laws, especially on fees and cess and conduct capacity building and training for devolved Government staff on law development.
Participants urged the government to provide guidance on the relationship between the private sector and the county governments. This is in order to avert the current confusion where it is not clear which ministry intervenes on problems between the private sector and County Governments. To this end, a forum spearheaded by Ministry of Industrialization has been formed, bringing together Ministries of Devolution and planning, Council of Governors and National Treasury among others.
In line with this, the World Bank and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning have developed public participation guidelines which will guide public participation in County law formulation processes. The guidelines are ready and are only awaiting validation.
The meeting also discussed the issue of unemployment whereby the Government indicated that by the end of the year over 200,000 youth would have been employed across the country. The Private sector promised to provide 50,000 mentorship and internship placements for the youth annually.
On decentralization of businesses, the meeting was informed that 13 Huduma centers have been set up in 13 Counties and that 13 new ones will be launched by end of February. Efforts are underway to have the centers in all the 47 Counties. There are 28 Government agencies within these centers and 45 services are being offered at the moment at different levels. KEPSA promised to create awareness among its members about these centers and encourage them to utilize them to ease business.
On its part, the Private Sector will convene a stakeholders meeting through the Council of Governors to develop new policies that will ensure that counties do not introduce levies and taxes that subject businesses to double taxation.
Other items discussed included the implementation of the 1\3 gender rule and low uptake Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).