Kenya: Cabinet Approves Privatization Bill 2023

Nairobi — The Cabinet approved the Privatization Bill 2023 yesterday, which gives the Treasury the authority to sell off publicly held companies without Parliamentary approval.

It contains legal and policy frameworks to oversee all privatizations in the country.

The sale of non-strategic, non-performing public entities, the Cabinet stated, will help improve the delivery of services to Kenyans.

“To support the state’s divestiture from non-strategic sectors of our national life, Cabinet approved the Privatization Bill,” the report from the Cabinet stated.

“The revised policy shift seeks to revitalize Kenya’s Capital Markets through the review of the framework for State divesture as part of a wider reform process targeting Public Enterprises.”

Privatization is also set to reduce demand for public resources and raise more money to support the government’s development program.

Last month, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) called for the repeal of the Privatization Act 2005 to grant the government a clearer framework within which it will seamlessly run the privatization program.

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The budget office said privatizing state-owned businesses might generate Sh30 billion in annual revenue.

In a report on budget options for FY 2023-2024, PBO highly recommended the privatization of parastatals to improve the financial status of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), projecting that the move will generate revenues of up to Sh30 billion annually.

The budget office added that through privatization, they will be able to aid the ambitious government in realizing its development plans and also provide funds for offsetting the nation’s skyrocketing debt burden.

“For long-term impact, privatization proceeds should be earmarked to capital projects that have the potential to generate future revenues or be used to retire expensive public debt,” read part of the statement.

PBO further proposed that a privatization policy be established to foster better growth strategies for the SOEs in order to yield long-term benefits.

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