ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Private sector calls for partially reopening of economy

This measure will allow for more economic activity and workforce productivity

In Summary
  • KEPSA recommends a phased opening of the economy, starting with the reduction of the curfew hours for non-essential services and sectors including retail sectors.
  • COVID-19 is the new normal and every effort must be made to ensure there is continued economic activity in the country while upholding measures to safeguard the health of its people,” said  Carole Karuga CEO, KEPSA.
Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki at the private sector state of economy address in Nairobi on May 11 /ENOS TECHE
Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki at the private sector state of economy address in Nairobi on May 11 /ENOS TECHE

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) wants the government to gradually and partially ease the Covid-19 restrictions to strike a balance between the economy and health response. 

“COVID-19 is the new normal and every effort must be made to ensure there is continued economic activity in the country while upholding measures to safeguard the health of its people,” said  Carole Karuga CEO, Kepsa.

She spoke at a virtual meeting with government officials through the office of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee.

Karuga said that even as the alliance works hard to curb the spread of the virus, they are also keen on getting the economy on a recovery path.

With regard to when and how to reopen the economy, Kepsa has outlined a set of working principles for recovery.

To contain a new wave of infection, Kepsa recommends for the government to provide information with Standard Operating Procedures for employees to follow as a means of ensuring safe work conditions.

 

Kepsa recommends a phased opening of the economy, starting with the reduction of the curfew hours for non-essential services and sectors including retail sectors.

This measure will allow for more economic activity and workforce productivity particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Matiangi led Committee said that both public and private sectors should explore ways to deal with the reality of COVID-19.

“This is a shared responsibility and a comprehensive recovery plan will be rolled out, which includes the eight-plan stimulus package recently announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Matiang’i.

Matiang’i also confirmed that the National Treasury has handed over Sh10 billion to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for the VAT Refund.

The CS, however, warned against a rushed opening saying that other economies that have recently re-opened have witnessed a spike in infection rates.

“The unprecedented scale of the pandemic means that the return to work will need to be gradual and phased, and heightened caution is necessary to prevent further waves of infection,” said Kepsa Chairman Nik Nesbitt

 

The Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina presented a raft of proposed guidelines that businesses will have to adopt and enforce when they re-open their businesses. 

“These standard operating procedures will be unique to every work environment. And will help us to balance safe operations of businesses and minimization of infections,” CS Maina said.