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UN Assembly Panel Recommend A Global Minimum Tax.

The team also recommends that the Escrow accounts, managed by regional development banks, should be used to manage frozen or seized assets until they can be legally returned.

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By KURIAN MUSA

Kurian.musa@correspondent.africa

A global minimum tax is one of the main recommendations of the Report on Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development – presented last February by a United Nations high-level panel convened by the United Nations General Assembly.

The report of the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda was Co-chaired by H.E. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, former prime minister of Niger, and H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former president of Lithuania has now been released. It has up to 14 strategic recommendations, to promote reform, redesign and revitalize the global financial system so that it conforms to four values – accountability, legitimacy, transparency, and fairness.

“As the pandemic continues, wreaking havoc on our health and economies, and exacerbating inequality, we see ever more clearly the need for greater public resources to invest in recovery. We also realise the urgent need to restore trust in national and international governance,” Ibrahim Assane Mayaki jointly stated.

In a way towards post-covid19 recovery, the panel stated that recommendations are not enough. There is a need of all people contributing through their actions with support of Political leadership, both at the national and international levels.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki said: “Governments must come together to agree on new solutions for financial integrity. The private sector must meet higher standards. Civil society and the media have to help hold the powerful accountable.”

The Panel proposes a Global Pact for Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development based on countries’ priorities. It was observed that mobilisation of public resources, internationally and domestically, can be enhanced, through curbing illicit financial flows.

Beyond tracking Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), stopping them, and returning assets, the Panel recommended to use them to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Further suggestions to involve diverse stakeholders in policy making was made. To hold governments accountable to agreed standards; the media should be protected; and a push to include the civil society in policy-making.

Recommendations

All countries should enact legislation providing for the widest possible range of legal tools to pursue cross-border financial crimes.

The International Community should develop and agree on common international standards for settlements in cross-border corruption cases. Businesses should hold accountable all executives, staff and board members who foster or tolerate illicit financial flows in the name of their businesses.

A UN Tax Convention should be held to initiate the process of establishing the International tax norms, particularly tax-transparency standards through an open and inclusive legal instrument with universal participation. The panel says the creation of an impartial and fair mechanism to resolve international tax disputes, under the UN Tax Convention would resolve the current impasses.

More stringent measures International anti-money-laundering standards were made, calling for all countries creating a centralised registry for holding beneficial ownership information on all legal vehicles. The standards should encourage countries to make the information public.

Under the Regulations, a beneficial owner is a natural person who directly or indirectly: holds at least ten percent (10%) of the issued shares of the company; exercises at least ten percent (10%) of the voting rights in the company; exercises significant influence or control over a company. It was agreed that designating an entity to collect and disseminate data on enforcement of money-laundering standards, including beneficial ownership information would be key milestone.

Another area, is to Improve tax transparency by having all private multinational entities publish accounting and financial information on a country-by-country basis.

There are gaps in the policy and laws towards emergency responses. the panel recommended that Building on existing voluntary efforts, all countries should strengthen public procurement and contracting transparency, including transparency of emergency measures taken to respond to COVID-19.

The panelists also proposed the creation of an International Compact on Implementing Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development to coordinate capacity building. Adding the need to extend existing capacity building that tackles tax abuse, corruption, money-laundering, financial crime and asset recovery.

Countries will be required to do self-reporting to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), on the implementation review mechanism to improve comprehensiveness, inclusiveness, impartiality, transparency and especially monitoring.

Another key recommendation is for the International Community to develop minimum standards of protection for human right defenders, anticorruption advocates, investigative journalists and whistleblowers. States should consider incorporating these standards in a legally binding international instrument.

The team also recommends that the Escrow accounts, managed by regional development banks, should be used to manage frozen or seized assets until they can be legally returned.

It was also recommended that Tax payers, especially multinational corporations, should pay their fair share of taxes. The UN Tax Convention should provide for effective capital gains taxation. Taxation must be equitably applied on services delivered digitally. This requires taxing multinational corporations based on group global profit.

The team also proposed the creation of fairer rules and stronger incentives to combat tax competition, tax avoidance and tax evasion, starting with an agreement on a global minimum corporate tax.

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Please pay your pending bills, KEMSA Board appeals to County Governments

The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board has issued a passionate appeal asking several county governments to prioritise settlement of more than Kshs 3.9 Billion pending bills to the Authority.

Speaking when she addressed stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical sector and Medical Associations, KEMSA Chairperson Mary Mwadime said the settlement of the bills would help accelerate reforms at the Authority.

She said some county governments had extended much-needed support to KEMSA by prioritising the settlement of bills to keep the Authority’s cogwheels running as the organisational reforms to address systemic challenges progress.

She said the Board would undertake the reforms in strict compliance to due process and labour laws as the Board is committed to remedying challenges’ currently bedevilling the Authority.

During the latest round of engagements on Monday, the KEMSA Board and the Authority’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Edward Njoroge updated the Senate Committee on Health members led by Senator Michael Mbito. The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

Last week, the KEMSA Board paid courtesy calls to the Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira and Uasin Gishu County Governments. The Board also engaged the National Assembly Committee on Health and the Development Partners for Health in Kenya (DPH-K). The DPH-K comprises stakeholders and representatives from the World Health Organisation, Global Fund, USAID, CDC, UNAIDS, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Bank.

At the meetings, Ms Mwadime reiterated that the Authority was complying with a court order and had not declared any roles redundant nor handed over KEMSA’s leadership to external agencies. She added that operations at the Authority are proceeding under a business-as-usual model with a business continuity plan to avoid any disruptions.

“We have assured our stakeholders that our operations are proceeding on as usual and the Board and Core Management remain firmly in place,” She said, adding that, “A dysfunctional KEMSA slows down healthcare delivery goals and is a liability to the envisaged positive national healthcare outcomes and the Board is committed to facilitating reforms to set the Authority on a recovery path. This will include structured engagements with several county governments to settle their outstanding bills amounting to more than Kshs 6 Billion,” she said.

KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Davji Bhimji speaking after the KEMSA engagement, expressed optimism that the Authority will undertake the envisaged reforms lawfully.

He said the Board had assured stakeholders and KPMDU members that due process would be followed and staff members will not be victimised.

“We have been given detailed information on the reforms and have been assured that the role of professional stakeholders in the healthcare value chain will be mainstreamed in the reform agenda. We are ready to engage with KEMSA to ensure efficient supply of drugs and other items from KEMSA stores to health facilities,” Dr Bhimji said.

Last week, KEMSA Board confirmed that operations had been sustained through the core management and staffing team. If necessary, the core KEMSA Management Team will be assisted by a multi-agency team drawn from public sector experts.

The multi-agency officers will be drawn from the Public Service Commission, State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs, Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Youth Affairs, Ministry of Defence, The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government among others.

The reforms at the Authority are part of the far-reaching recommendations outlined in several KEMSA restructuring reports, including the latest KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) report. Commissioned by the Board, the KIAPRWC report revealed challenges in critical functions.

The report confirms that KEMSA is grossly underperforming and largely unable to meet clients’ urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential Medicines and Products to the Counties, Referral Hospitals and Programs.

The Authority is suffering from below-par productivity, with the order fill rate standing at 18% against a target performance of over 90%. KEMSA’s order turn-around time is an average of 46 days.

KEMSA is also suffering from a developing debtor and creditor crisis and is currently owed Ksh. 6.4 Billion by its clients, who are primarily county governments. The Authority owes its creditors Ksh. 4.5 Billion and is operating at 170% above its approved staff establishment of three hundred and forty-one (341) with an estimated staff complement of 922. Pool

The Board, Ms Mwadime said, is committed to facilitating the necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed. This commitment includes aligning the organisational structure to industry-accepted standards for a health commodities and technologies procurement organisation. It also calls for the introduction of global best practices, including transparent reporting relationships, an acceptable span of control, and command structures, compounding related functions for strengthened accountability and a re-determination of optimal staffing levels and norms.

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Mwananchi Credit Feted as a TopScore brand

The company was voted as the Most Timely Logbook Loan Provider in Kenya as well as recognized as a TopScore Brand in recognition of the financier’s increasing penetration in the country.

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TopScore Brands awards the certificate Mwananchi’s Head of Customer Service , Ruth Moraa and trophy to HR Manager Collins Okello (Photo: Courtesy)

Mwananchi Credit has been recognized as a TopScore brand during the inaugural gala dinner held at the Hilton Hotel last Friday.

The company was voted as the Most Timely Logbook Loan Provider in Kenya as well as recognized as a TopScore Brand in recognition of the financier’s increasing penetration in the country.

 

The company has had an impressive winning streak this year, landing the Best Land Title based Financier at the 4th Annual Real Estate Excellence Awards as well as the Best Logbook Loan Financer during the Annual Automotive Industry Awards, both held recently.

Commenting after the win, Mwananchi Credit CEO Dennis Mombo was philosophical about it “It is not until you are on top of your game that you begin being recognized. However, as I remind my team every day, getting to the top is the easy part. It is staying on there, that calls for a big challenge. The biggest show of a winning spirit is to fight complacency so that you keep emerging the best in subsequent years. We are excited about being recognized as a Topscore Brand alongside Kenya’s other leading brands. But we are more excited about giving the best service to our clients, who are the reason we are on top!”

Mwananchi Credit is one of the most innovative lenders in the market. They have ensured that they are able to meet borrowers’ needs at various collateral levels while easing the process of access to credit.

By providing Emergency Loans, the company has put in place aggressive customer-centric processes to ensure that the timelines between application and disbursement are narrowed to an absolute minimum. This has been enabled by embracing technology such that the KYC process starts immediately upon online application and the subsequent steps are also automated whenever possible. Logbook Loans are provided within less than six hours of application with a disbursement within this Turn Around Time clocking over 98% of the instances.

Mwananchi Credit is one of the leading logbook loan providers in the country. Its diversified product portfolio includes title deed loans, civil servant salary check-off loans, import financing, and asset financing among others.

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Mwananchi ‘s interest holiday for new applicants to mark Customer Service week

Mwananchi Credit is one of the few Micro Finance companies that has managed to grow tremendously during the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and this has been strongly linked to improvement of their customer service desk.

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Clients at Mwananchi Credit tent in a past reach out exercise.

Mwananchi Credit will this year mark the Customer Service Week due on Monday 4th till Friday 8th October, in style.

The firm has announced a gracious interest holiday to all lucky clients who make loan applications in specific class categories for the first 3 months of repayment.

This means if you make your loan application during the Customer Service week, and you are among the lucky chosen clients, your interest repayments shall click in January 2022 with only the principal reflecting in the intervening period.

Further, Mwananchi Credit has also announced a penalty waiver for all customers who come to regularize their loan accounts ( that may have fallen behind) during this week.

Announcing the goodies, Mwananchi Credit’s Marketing Manager Boniface Ndonji added,
“ Our growth over the last couple of years has been phenomenal and in big part, this has been simply due to our loyal clients.”

He noted, “As we seek to grow our Mwananchi client family, we also seek to give them have a soft landing, hence our reason to give incentives of our interest holiday.”

Further, Mr Boniface Ndonji said for their current clients who may be facing repayment difficulties, the penalty waivers will hopefully help them to get up to speed.

Mwananchi Credit is one of the few Micro Finance companies that has managed to grow tremendously during the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and this has been strongly linked to improvement of their customer service desk.

As they mark this year’s occasion, the company shall have a lot of other exciting range of activities to celebrate their growth with their customers.

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