Lawmakers Begin Discussing National Payment System Bill

 Four bills including a draft National Payment System proclamation have been introduced in the parliament.

Members of the lower house of Ethiopian parliament held their second year first ordinary session on Tuesday.

Among the four draft bills tabled for discussion was the draft National Payment System law.

The bill aims to amend the 2011 proclamation to open up the sector for foreign investors.

The amendment was primarily needed to increase effective payment service providers and create competitiveness, officials said.

The bill, when ratified, will allow authorities to give Safaricom a mobile money license.

The government has already promised to grant a license to M-Pesa, which is Safaricom’s subsidiary.

Also up for debate in Tuesday’s parliament session was a draft law to amend the 2018 Public Private Partnership Proclamation.

The government enacted the law to facilitate Public-Private Partnership in development projects through open bidding.

The amended bill adds provisions that allows authorities to forge partnerships with capable private investors in major projects.

The house referred both bills to the plan, budget and finance standing committee for further deliberations.

PMs also discussed two separate loan agreement bills that Ethiopia signed with Italy and the World Bank to the same standing committee.

Tesfaye Belijige, a government whip, said the loan signed with Italy will fund the execution of the Health Sector Transformation Plan.

The loan agreement signed with the International Development Association (IDA) intends to support efforts to improve the food system.

The house sent both draft agreements to its plan, budget and finance standing committee for further discussions.


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