Treasury CS, ambassador Ukur Yatani
Tough economic times! Digging deeper into desert-dry pockets. Kenyans yet to cope again with a ksh3.6 trillion pandemic budget up from the current ksh2.8 trillion. No businesses running, no cash flow but taxes imposed to achieve revenue targets.
Covid-19 came along with a bad omen. Every commercial activity to a standstill, national debt a huge burden accompanied by ambitious plans. The looming public debt brings about more anxiety on what the fight on graft has done to help the state recover and rescue looted public resources.
The president’s big four agenda having been slowed down by the pandemic, the CS, Ukur Yattani is expected to roll out a budget that will accommodate well and balance the post-covid economic recovery and the president’s top on list.
The budget dubbed ‘Building back better days: Strategy for resilient and sustainable economic recovery is expected to pump in more cash in sectors in line with the president’s agenda. However, the common man won’t have it better on his side considering the country’ s current situation.
The major concern of both the private sector and the citizens is the government’s huge borrowing in order to fulfill its development targets and also bridge the deficit gaps.
Transport and tourism sectors having been hit hard directly by the menace, reviving the sectors need much to be pumped in. Kenyans will however be compelled to continue starving and children missing meals in order to give the state cash amounting to ksh 1.56 trillion to fill the budget. A raft of new taxes on both individuals and businesses set to be put in place. 16% V.A.T. tax on bread and 15% excise duty on the motorcycles just to mention a few signifies how Kenyans will grapple with the ailing economy.
State departments with the largest share according to the proposed budget released in February include education, energy, infrastructure, ICT, Interior and national security and health.
Unlike Kenyans, the CS has expressed optimism in increase of the economy up from 0.6% in 2020 to the projected 6.4%.Tourism having been brought to its knees, agriculture remained sole hope but also suffered after international flights were halted.
With a larger population still jobless and many others having their pays cut, where will the government raise the cash to revive the economic meltdown currently in the country? Is the government planning to harass the penniless to get its want?
How do you intend to recover an economy yet you impose taxes on businesses that are also struggling to remain afloat? The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has raised an alarm over the increase in V.A.T on manufactured goods which has made the business environment unfriendly and unhealthy. This time round it is going to be a pinch on the face for a larger population.