The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has called on
the government to ease regulations on importation of raw materials, following
the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
In a memo to Treasury, KAM wants imports on intermediate
goods and machineries be reviewed where ports of origin have been closed down.
“Government should ease regulations on importation of raw
materials, intermediate goods, industrial spares and machineries especially
where ports of origin have been closed down and inspecting agencies are not
operating optimally,” read part of the memo to Treasury Principal Secretary
The Association is also pushing for faster processing of
Value Added Tax refunds to thrust liquidity drained by slow demand as a result
of Covid-19 effects to the economy.
The memo outlines measures that will enable the sector to
return to normalcy and/or adopting to new normal in post Covid-19 pandemic.
Part of the measures include the creation of emergency
rescue fund, supported by development partners, which will identify and support
the most vulnerable businesses and entrepreneurs affected the pandemic.
It further calls on the Treasury to push for increased
moratorium for bank loan repayments including interest to 6-12 months.
KAM says interest rates should further be pushed down to
eight percent and the entire loan and overdraft books granted a full waiver for
the three months.
“In addition to direct cash transfers (helicopter money) to
targeted individuals, indirect transfers to individuals through the
manufacturers could be considered,” continued the memo.
As one of the hard-hit sector, the association said the measures
put in place to stimulate the economy like reduced corporate income taxes,
Value Added Tax and the other measures will begin bearing fruit after the
The sector, which employs about 300,000 people directly and 3
million people indirectly, has been forced to cut operations and shed employees
since the pandemic struck the country.