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Manufacturers unveil polls wish list to party candidates

By Yvonne Kawira | Published Thu, July 6th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 5th 2017 at 20:02 GMT +3

 

Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chairperson Flora Mutahi.

Manufacturers have unveiled a policy document for the sector for presentation to the various presidential candidates ahead of next month’s polls.

Under the aegis of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the manufacturers in their 10-point policy agenda target to increase foreign exchange earnings and raise manufacturing share of GDP to 15 per cent by 2020.

Speaking at the launch, KAM Chairperson Flora Mutahi said the document would provide the much-needed intervention to unlock the sector’s potential.

“This agenda outlines quick, easily attainable actions that can be utilised by Government, industry and other stakeholders to realise tangible results in inclusive growth and development within the next five years,” said Ms Mutahi.

“Some party manifestos have indeed taken into account our priority areas for the industry. The agenda emphasises the need to spur competitiveness, which should not be visualised in light of aiding industry to be more profitable as this perspective obscures the real long-term benefits of being competitive.”

The launch was preceded by KAM’s scheduled meeting with various presidential candidates.

The policy outlines a 10-point agenda meant to promote industrialisation in the country. The manufacturers want the leaders to ensure a predictable business environment that generates investments.

They have also called for disciplined revenue collection as well as enhanced payment systems and tax refunds by the Government by setting up supplier portals where they (suppliers) can track orders, delivery schedules and potential product shortages.

Other highlights of the policy include effective public service by use of transparency and accountability, reduction of input costs, access to affordable long-term finance and creation of massive import push and access to local markets. The business community also wants the next government to create massive import push and access to local markets. Thirdway Alliance Presidential Candidate Ekuru Aukot, who was present at the launch, said it was important to focus on counties as the country’s growth engines.

“We plan to abolish VAT and replace it with sales tax at three per cent to widen the tax base, to ensure that there will enable more people to trade and engage in business,” he said.

The policy document also focuses on sectoral priorities such as raising productivity to world class standards, promoting and leveraging the “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” campaign.