Civil societies challenge tax-free deal for Japanese firms


Civil societies challenge tax-free deal for Japanese firms

Civil society representatives have vowed to file a petition challenging the tax-free deal for Japanese firms undertaking local projects funded through grants.

Alvin Mosioma, Executive Director at Tax Justice Network Africa, poked holes into the decision saying it is prone to abuse as it lacks clarity.

“It is not clear what you define as a Japanese business. What would stop an Indian business from going to Japan and registering as a Japanese business and coming in to take advantage of similar exemption?” he posed.

He also adds that such a move requires input from the public and other organisations before implementation.

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the Treasury’s Legal Notice number 15 of 2021 that was published on February 26 this year.

The notice required the approval of the House to take effect.

Meanwhile, the Government of Japan has donated about Ksh. 212million to Kenya to improve the cold chain capacity for COVID-19 vaccines roll out.

A statement from the Japanese embassy said this is part of a grant of about Ksh. 1.2billion to 11 countries in the East and Southern Africa region.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya, Japan has been contributing to the fight against the virus by providing medical equipment and PCR test kits,” Ambassador of Japan to Kenya HORIE Ryoichi said.

“Japan is now committed to supporting the improvement of the vaccination programmes all over the world by contributing about 21.2 billion Kenya Shillings to the COVAX facility, an international mechanism led by Gavi, CEPI, WHO and UNICEF.”

According to the envoy, the funding will support the Kenyan Government in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, especially through the procurement of equipment for vaccine storage, distribution and continuous temperature monitoring.

This includes storage for vaccines that require ‘ultra-cold’ temperatures. The funds will also be used to support the installation of new equipment and provide training to the healthcare workers on how to operate the equipment.

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