KRA devolves surveillance to seal revenue leakage

KRA devolves surveillance to seal revenue leakage

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is engaging county officials ahead of the devolution of the Market Surveillance Department which is part of the government’s led initiative to curb illicit trading in the country.

Established in February 2014 by the taxman, the surveillance department is viewed as a mechanism to seal the pre-existing loopholes that have allowed counterfeits to infiltrate the goods market in the country.

So far, KRA have assessed the role of the department as successful in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties and now look forward to the integration of the same to other counties.

Speaking the destruction of close to 600,000 counterfeit products in Nairobi, KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Benson Korongo said, the Market Surveillance Department plays a crucial role in the battle against illicit products in the country.

“It is through their seizures that we have been able to interdict the products we are destroying here today. The work of the Market Surveillance Department has enabled us to detect the counterfeits,” he said.

KRA will now proceed to allocate resources to the counties in what is the facilitation of the formulation of the devolved surveillance department over the course of the next financial year.

Mr Korongo said the KRA has just enough resources to pursue the venture in the midst of the ensuing debate surrounding government’s financial support for the revenue body.

“We are getting what is enabling us to deliver our mandate, we could do with more but we are also looking at other areas of need within government,” Mr Korongo said.

The Market Surveillance Department is expected to work alongside counties in the formulation of policies, mechanisms and approaches aimed at identifying, curbing and eradicating the presence of illicit goods across the country.

The two will also work hand in hand to establish a public emancipation program which is aimed at educating the members of public on the risks involved in the consumption of counterfeit products.

By waging war on the illicit trade, KRA aims at recuperating billions of shillings in revenue, money which has so far been lost to the illegal trade.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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