Implement SME law, Kepsa tells state
A private sector lobby group wants parliament to quicken the enactment of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bill to help small businesses graduate faster into large entities. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance chief executive Carole Kariuki yesterday said the draft law has taken too long, and is denying the country the economic benefits of well-run MSMEs.
The law was initially drafted almost 10 years ago, Kariuki said, but the process of enacting it has dragged on. Trade minister Moses Wetang’ula however said the draft law in its current state has numerous shortcomings. He said the section establishing an MSME Authority ought to be amended to instead set up a council with a leaner board. The section currently proposes a board membership of 18.
“MSMEs don’t need an authority. They need a council to govern them because they are self-driven,” Wetang’ula said at a retreat organised by Kepsa and the parliamentary committee on Finance, Planning and Trade in Mombasa. Igembe North MP Ntoitha M’Mithairu, representing committee chairman Chris Okemo, said the informal sector provides the bulk of employment in Kenya and thus should be ‘formalised’ in some way.
M’Mithairu said Kenya should stop exporting labour to Asian countries, which later export the goods made by Kenyan labour such as furniture to the country at exorbitant prices. “Why should we import furniture from other countries, things that we can make locally?” he posed. Once the law is enacted, MSMEs would be able to access funding with ease while it will also support capacity building, research and technology development in the sector.