17TH OCTOBER 2023
Embu traders will now be required to pay for one business permit for different commercial activities under one roof after the enactment of a new law by the County Assembly.
The Embu County Trade Promotion, Development and Licensing Bill, 2023, which was read a second time at the Assembly seeks to provide the legal framework to ensure ease of doing business by among other issues eliminating multiple trade licenses for one business entity.
Evurore MCA Duncan Mbui observed that bar and restaurant owners have been required to pay Single Business Permits, Liquor License, Public Health Certificate, Tourism Levy, Music Copyright Society Permit among others, but stated that the new law would abolish some of the charges.
His Muminji counterpart Newton Kariuki lamented that shop owners who had mobile money facilities, soft drink refrigerators, stocked fresh fruits and sold utensils were previously required to pay different licenses for every business category instead of paying one trading permit.
Officers from the Embu County Revenue Authority (ECRA) were cited for going rogue and harassing traders demanding for payment of numerous business permits, with Mavuria MCA Ngari Mbaka asserting that the County Government ought to be an enabler and not a retarder of commercial activities.
At the same time, Deputy Speaker Ibrahim Swaleh called for election of fresh Market Committees across the county, saying the long-standing groups had mutated into be political outfits which have been inciting traders not to remit levies to the County Government.
The Kirimari MCA lauded the drafters of the new law for exempting People with Disabilities (PWDs) from paying Business Permits, a move that was also lauded by Nominated MCA Augustine Njeru as progressive and humane. The two leaders challenged PWDs to seize the opportunity to do business.
Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Muchangi Mwariama said the passing of the Trade Law would help the County Government realise the projected local revenue collection of Ksh 750 million as envisioned in the county budget for the 2023/2024 Financial Year.
The Bill has been sponsored by the County Assembly Trade, Tourism and Industrial Development Committee chaired by Kithimu MCA Julius Karuri.