2018/2019 Budget highlights


Cabinet Secretary Treasury Henry Rotich
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This year’s financial budget stands at Ksh3.074 trillion a 10.83 percent increase compared to last year’s budget which totaled to Ksh2.77 trillion.

Presenting this year’s budget proposals in parliament under the theme ‘creating jobs and transforming lives’ National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the 2018/2019 budget is  an opportunity to boldly confront the challenges the country faces in creating job opportunities for the youth and to benefit everyone.

While acknowledging the ballooning national debt the CS said priority has been given to manufacturing, enhanced food security and affordable housing, as the government targets creation of 800,000 jobs.

Buoyed by improved political environment, the CS said his ministry plans to accelerate economic growth past the current 5.6% while at the same time ensuring that public debt remains sustainable.

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He added that the economy is expected to grow by 5.8% this year sustained by investor confidence, improved agricultural output due to good climate, public investment and improved demand for exports due to favorable global trends.

Among the sectors targeted to stimulate the economy include tourism, which continues on a recovery path largely due to improved security in the country and effective tourism promotion strategies, as well as the adoption of zero based budget approach to reduce government expenditure as well as support the Big Four Agenda.

He cited the completion of the first phase of Standard Gauge Railway as a great milestone saying Kenyans are now enjoying cheaper and faster travel between Nairobi and Mombasa.

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He also said Security has been substantially improved throughout the country through strategic investment in police and military modernization.

At the same time, Rotich said the government has made education more inclusive and sensitive to the country’s skill demand by expanding the free education programme to include free day secondary education.

On the increased illicit trade, the CS said a multi-agency team is working to identify and destroy counterfeit goods in the country to curb illicit trade that is robbing the country billions in revenue.

National Police Service

The National Police Service has been allocated Ksh29.8 billion to modernize the service in the 2018-2019 financial year.

CS Rotich said Ksh8.9billion  will be spent to enhance security operation in the country with Ksh3 billion going to securing the Kenyan borders.

He added that Ksh9.2 billion will go to leasing police vehicles.

On the police social welfare, the CS allocated 6.5 billion shillings for police and prison officers’ medical insurance scheme and Ksh1.5 billion on construction of police houses.

Lauding improved security in the country, the CS allocated further Ksh6.4 billion to the Criminal Investigations Services and Ksh5.1 billion to the Office of the Attorney General.

Education

Ksh59.4 billion  was allocated for free secondary education and another Ksh13.4 billion  for free primary education.

Two billion shillings has been earmarked for school feeding programs.

CS Rotich said that Ksh91.1 billion has been set aside to support university education while Ksh9.6 billion will be channeled towards Higher Education Loans Board.

Ksh16 billion will go to technical institutions to enhance Technical Vocational Education Training.

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To deal with shortage of teachers in public schools, treasury allocated Ksh5 billion for hiring teachers.

Rotich says the Government has made education more inclusive and sensitive to the country’s skill demand by expanding the free education programme to include free day secondary education.

In Financial Year 2018/19, treasury has provided to the Counties Ksh 376.4 billion, being Ksh 314 billion in sharable revenue and Ksh 62.4 billion in conditional allocations. This translates to 40% of recently audited revenues; well in excess of the constitutional threshold of 15%.

Tourism

Enhancing the tourism sector still remains key for the country with the National Treasury allocating Ksh1billion for marketing and promotion of tourism activities, a reduction from the Ksh2.7 billion the sector got in the current financial year.

Though the figure in the 2018/2019 financial year is lower than the allocation in the current financial year, the funds are expected to enhance marketing activities that will bring in more tourists in the country as well as enhance tourism revenue.

Rotich noted that strategies and incentives to revive Kenya’s tourism sector are bearing fruits.

Last year, the country recorded a 20.3 percent growth to post earnings of Ksh 120 billion.

Out of this, Ksh 340 million will be for sustaining new markets and sitting booths, Ksh 380 million for capital lending to hoteliers and Ksh 325 million for restoration of Fort Jesus.

Motor cars

Rotich also proposed remission of duty on motor cars, sightseeing buses and overland trucks imported by licensed tour operators.

To support mining activities and geophysical mapping of the country’s minerals, Ksh 509 and Ksh 500 million was allocated respectively.

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Rotich also proposed a repeal of section 33(B) of the Banking Amendment Act on the capping of interest rates to enable banks and other lenders to provide more credit to borrowers.

In order to enhance access to affordable credit SMEs regarded as high risk borrowers, the Government plans to introduce a National Credit Guarantee Scheme.

Rotich also proposed remission of duty on motor cars, sightseeing buses and overland trucks imported by licensed tour operators.

 

 

 

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