Kenya Revenue Authority has agreed to release 40,000 metric tons sugar owned by Darasa Investment Ltd that is at the centre of a Sh2.5 billion dispute.
KRA in a statement revealed that it reached out of court settlement with Darasa Investment which will now clear the Sh2.5 billion duty and VAT arrears.
The tax was subject of a long running court battle, and Supreme Court in May stopped KRA from demanding the sh2.5 billion from the sugar importer.
Darasa Investment had contested the tax arguing that it brought it in during the tax waiver period granted last year and accused the taxman of discrimination.
“The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has agreed to release 40,000 metric tonnes of sugar owned by Darasa Investment Ltd in an out of court settlement. The agreement shall be guided by a consent signed by KRA and Darasa lawyers, ensuring that Darasa Investment Ltd clears the Sh2.5 billion duty and VAT arrears,” reads the statement.
The taxman further indicated that the firm is required to settle a Sh547,846,969 in ninety (90) days if waiver of interest and penalties is not granted as per the East African Community Customs Management Act.
The entry of the sugar into the country will be subject to further clearance from Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Port Health, Agriculture & Food Authority and the Radiation Board.
The agreement will lay to rest a bitter court battle.
In February, KRA lost the tax claim at the high court after Justice Eric Ogola ruled that Darasa Investment Ltd, was entitled to be cleared duty-free by the taxman and termed the decision by KRA to levy duty on it as unlawful.
The Judge ruled that he was satisfied that the sugar was loaded at a port in Brazil between May 12 and August 31, the period covered by tax waiver period, destined to Mombasa port as per the conditions set in a Gazette Notice.
But the decision was overturned by Appeal court prompting Darasa to move to Supreme Court.
KRA says it resorted to resolving the dispute through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as provided for in Article 159 (2)(c) of the Constitution, noting that so far the move has raised Sh8.3 Billion from 181 companies.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
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.
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.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
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.
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.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
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.
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.