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Ag. Treasury CS outline initiatives to boost Kenya-Ethiopia trade

The  National Treasury  Ag. Cabinet Secretary (CS), Amb.  Ukur  Yatani has called on residents of Moyale to take advantage of recently established Moyale One Stop Border Point to boost trade between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Ukur  said that the modern facility was among other six in the country being underutilized, compared with the others which were raising a lot of revenue.

While  addressing  KRA staff and stakeholders in the region, the CS promised to establish more One Stop-Border Posts (OSBP) at the Kenya-Ethiopia border to facilitate trade between the two countries and ensure high levels of tax compliance among the traders in the region.

Ukur, who  was accompanied by a high powered delegation of KRA Board of Directors among them, the Chairman  Amb. Francis  Muthaura, KRA Commissioners and interior Ministry officials in a tour at the Moyale One Stop Border Post, said the government was working towards full implementation of an agreement on free trade earlier reached between the two countries.

“There is a lot of revenue to be collected in this region, we shall establish more One Stop Border Posts along the common border with Ethiopia to facilitate trade and ensure collection of more revenue,” he said.

The CS Directed KRA to be convening regular multi-agency meetings, which should be attended by stake holders among them community leaders to address issues that may be contributing to the under-utilisation of the facility.

Ukur also cautioned the KRA staff and other border posts users to uphold high integrity to ensure that all revenues due to the government are collected without any compromise.

“The money which you pay taxes in return is the money which is used to construct roads, to equip hospitals and to pay the government employees,” the CS said

However, he encouraged KRA to conduct more stakeholder sensitisations in the region to enable communities living at the borders understand about taxation and compliance.

“This will also ensure that conflicts between KRA and stakeholders are easily solved, adding an informed citizenry was not likely to evade payment of taxes,” he noted.

Muthaura, on his part said KRA is ready to facilitate trade to ensure that traders don’t face challenges.

“KRA and business people are inseparable because of business and we are therefore obliged to provide a conducive environment for business to thrive,” Muthaura reiterated.

The OSBP concept has alleviated the movement across countries by improving border crossing, speed and efficiency, thus reducing barriers to trade as well as improving business competitiveness.

At  the OSBPs, KRA has put in place measures such as installation of scanners and intelligence aided verification of cargo to address mi-declarations, concealment and substandard cargo.

By  Gatana  Muchira

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