HELB loan payment grace period, tax break for youths among other key BBI legislative amendments

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga pose after receiving the BBI report. Photo/PSCU

The BBI report which was handed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga has proposed a raft of Constitutional and legislative amendments mean to benefit Kenyans. Some of the key Bills proposed to be amended under legislative changes include;

The Higher Education Loans Board Act, 1995 (No. 33 of 1995)
The Bill seeks to amend the Act to give loanees a grace period of four years from the date
of completion of their studies before they can commence repayment of loans advanced
to them. The proposed amendments further exempt loanees without a source of income
from paying interest on the loans advanced to them until such time that the loanees start earning an income.

The Micro and Small Enterprises (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Bill seeks to amend the Micro and Small Enterprises Act, 2012 to give youth-owned
enterprises a seven-year tax break, and to establish business incubation centres across the country for the purposes of providing business advisory services, which includes access to capital and Government contracts. Further, the Authority will register and certify enterprises owned by young people, women and people with disabilities.

The Health (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Bill seeks to amend the Health Act to establish the Health Services Commission. The commission shall make recommendations to the national government on national policies for management of health care workers; monitor implementation of national policies for
management of health care workers by county governments and recommend appropriate action; and set and regularly review norms and standards on health matters.

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Bill seeks to amend the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, No. 3 of 2003 and touches on matters such as: enhanced penalty for economic crimes and corruption offences; the procedure for hearings and sentencing on economic crimes and corruption matters; and an offence of concealment of corruption. It provides for the duty to report any knowledge or suspicion of instances or acts of corruption or economic crimes.

The Ethics and Integrity Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Ethics and Integrity Amendment Bill, 2020 seeks to make amendments to various statutes relating to ethics and integrity. The Bill contains proposed amendments to the following statutes:

  1. The Leadership and Integrity Act (No. 19 of 2012)
    The Bill proposes to amend the Leadership and Integrity Act to: provide a detailed
    framework for dealing with public funds and personal wealth and making financial
    declarations by state officers; and prohibit state officers and Public Officers themselves
    or through proxies engaging in business with a public entity or engaging in public
    collection of funds.
  2. The Public Officer Ethics Act (No. 4 of 2003)
    The Bill proposes to amend the Act to bar Public Officers from participating in public
    collections and streamline the filing of wealth declarations by Public Officers.

The Contribution to Charity Bill, 2020
The Bill seeks to repeal the Public Collections Act, Chapter 106, with the principal objective of providing a modern framework for regulating public collections or harambees and providing a clear demarcation between public collection for charitable purposes and public collection for private purposes.