Kenya mulls balanced budget in five years

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Kenya plans to achieve a balanced budget in the next five years, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury and Planning Ukur Yatani told journalists in Nairobi that the budget deficit for the current financial year that ends on June 30 will be slightly over 600 billion shillings (6 billion U.S. dollars).

“We are implementing a raft of austerity measures to eliminate unnecessary government expenditure so that we gradually achieve a balanced budget over the next five years,” Yatani said during the official launch of public hearings on the 2020/21 financial year and the medium-term budget.

He said Kenya’s economy, which expanded by 5.6 percent in 2019, is projected to grow by 6.1 percent in 2020.

The country’s medium-term fiscal framework will be based on achieving the economic growth rate of 7 percent over the medium-term and mobilizing revenue collection to over 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Yatani said.

Kenya will focus on implementing programs and policies that aim at strengthening economic resilience and further addressing financial weaknesses that pose risks to medium-term economic growth.

“To address the challenges of income inequalities and unemployment, we shall endeavor to implement programs and institute policy measures aimed at making growth more inclusive which will ensure better economic prospects for all,” said Yatani.

“We shall pursue measures that will avail liquidity to the private sector, including initiating innovative products to boost credit to micro, small and medium enterprises as well as enforcing compliance of earlier directives of prompt and full payment of all pending bills by governments,” he added. Enditem

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