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KRA allows imported cars to exit port without plates

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KRA allows imported cars to leave port without plates

Imported cars
Imported cars at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has allowed imported vehicles to exit the port of Mombasa without number plates as supply hitch persists at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.

The taxman said it allowed imported cars to leave the port with logbooks and a third identifier stickers, which are pasted on windscreens.

The exemption has been extended to locally assembled vehicles.

About 10,000 imported second-hand vehicles have been lying at container freight stations (CSFs) in Mombasa as owners are charged between Sh2,000 and Sh6,000 daily for delayed clearance.

Kenya registers an average of 9,175 cars in a month, underlying the supply hitch that has seen importers lose millions of shillings.

The country is also facing a shortage of logbooks, further compounding the problem of clearance. The shortage of the plates is attributed to lack of raw materials amid an increase in demand for car registration.

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“We have had discussions with KRA and an importer is required to produce an e-sticker and logbooks as proof that the vehicle is duly registered,” Francis Meja, director-general at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) told the Business Daily on Wednesday.

“This also applies to new vehicles assembled locally. So long as the vehicle is registered, issued with an e-sticker and a logbook, it can leave the local assembly point,” said Mr Meja.

The stickers bear discrete features of vehicle registration, ownership and inspection details. Commercial vehicle owners pay Sh700 to acquire an e-sticker that also carries details like the chassis number.

It is mandatory for imported vehicles to be fitted with number plates before leaving the port.

The rule is meant to check tax evasion through dumping in the local market cars meant for landlocked Uganda and Rwanda.

Car importers said early this week the shortage had hit them hard as they were forced to incur storage charges at the port amid cash flow hiccups due to delays as some are servicing loans.

The storage charges are based on the volume of vehicles and the number of days they take at the Mombasa port or at container freight stations.

“They NTSA officials at the port must move with speed and sign the logbooks to fasten release of our vehicles,” said Car Importers Association of Kenya chairman Peter Otieno.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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