Talks on business enabling legislation underway in Vihiga

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Rodgers Bulemi, Vihiga County Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chairman (Centre) during the discussions at Sosa Cottages in Hamisi Sub County
Rodgers Bulemi, Vihiga County Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chairman (Centre) during the discussions at Sosa Cottages in Hamisi Sub County

Vihiga County government and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) have combined efforts to develop three business enabling legislations for the county.

KNCCI Vihiga chapter chairman Rodgers Bulemi said Members of the Vihiga County Assembly are currently holding talks with the finance, trade, revenue and lands county departments as well the civil society and the chamber.

He said the team wanted to ensure that the legislations are passed before the assembly is dissolved later this year.

“The bills, which were tabled at the county assembly on 9th of December 2016 include the County Revenue Administration Bill, the County Trade Licensing Bill and the County Rating Bill,” said Bulemi.

He said the three crucial legislations will prescribe the rules for setting up and running business enterprises within the county.

Speaking at a local hotel in Hamisi Sub County when they held the meeting with MCAs and various stakeholders, he said the team will also provide the necessary legislative framework to enable the county government to collect more revenue.

“The business community in the county through KNCCI has engaged various partners to ensure the success of the process,” he said.

He added that in a bid to build consensus and ensure maximum stakeholder participation, members of the county assembly, the county government, the business community and the civil society have held a series of meetings to fine-tune the bills.

“The talks are aimed at ensuring an inclusive approach to legislating on trade matters in the county in order to foster an enabling business environment,” said Bulemi.

He said the formative process in the lives of the bills will be followed by public participation fora to be held in the county on 31st January 2017. Counties are required by law to prepare enabling county legislation before enacting the annual county finance bills. Article 210 of the Constitution provides that “No tax or licensing fee may be imposed, waived or varied except as provided by legislation”.

The Public Finance Management Act, 2012, Section 161 requires that imposing a tax or other revenue-raising measure, a county government shall ensure that the tax or measure conforms to Article 209(5) of the Constitution and any other legislation, and before imposing any tax or revenue raising measures under this Article.