Parliament wants sugar bill fast tracked to revive sector

Written By: Regina Manyara

Sugar

The National Assembly wants fast tracking of the Sugar Bill to aid turnaround of the debt ridden sugar industry.

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This follows a petition by West Kenya Sugar company employees seeking to compel the firm to among others pay their pending dues to cushion them from unfair dismissal.

The petition by Malava MP Injendi Malulu set the ball rolling on the implementation of the Sugar Task Force Report.

Legislators noted that there was a need for stand-alone legislation for the sugar sector to provide a legal regime for sub-sector management.

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As such they called for the speedy tabling of the sugar Bill so as to revive the ailing sector.

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The proposed law would give farmers more say in the management of sugar factories as it would give them 51 per cent shareholding in state-owned sugar firms.

It further seeks to give the sugar board powers to license sugar and jaggery mills and mediate on matters concerning cane farmers.

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If passed the bill could weaken the Agriculture and Food Authority by taking away a plum sector.

Further plans underway to revive defunct Kenya Sugar Board to address challenges facing the sector.

Meanwhile, Postal Corporation of Kenya  has been challenged to invest in  digital innovations to catch up with an already flourishing digital economy.

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This followed a petition presented by Wajir East MP Rashid Amin in regard to payment of salary arrear for staff at Posta.

Corporation is undergoing a serious financial crunch and consequently has not paid salaries to its employees since March 2020.

In efforts geared at  netting more income, the corporation has overtime launched several other digital avenues including M-Post, Tunza Nyumba na Posta, EMS2Go, Postal Digital Parcel Locker.

However, the investments are yet to bear fruit.

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