Coronavirus came along with a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs, who are having a hard time making ends meet during the pandemic. Personal Protective Gear (PPE) has become the Knight in shining armour in these tough economic times. Kitui county is among the government designated counties tasked with mass production of PPE for frontline healthcare givers who are at high risk of contracting the virus.
Against a population of 47 million Kenyans and the fact that some of the PPEs cannot be recycled, the demand will always high and entrepreneurs need all the support they want from the government to fill in the gap. In so doing the National Assembly in its sitting on Wednesday amended the Value Added Tax Act by inserting a new section 96A that zero rates production of Personal protective equipment, including facemasks, for use by medical personnel in registered hospitals and clinics, or by members of the public in the case of a pandemic or a notifiable infectious disease.
As soon as it is implemented, the cost of critical equipment, particularly, face masks will be within the reach of many Kenyans who are unable to afford them at the current market rates. This implies that those engaging in the business of making PPEs will be exempted from VAT and will enjoy perfect market competition where customers will be more about quality than quality.
The National Assembly also approved the Supplementary Budget II which saw it set aside Sh3 billion initially allocated to parliament s now channelled into a special kitty to be allocated to Level 5 Hospital in the counties which have been he hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.