Kenya revises budget to respond to COVID-19 pandemic

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Kenyan Coat of arms
Coat of arms

Kenya’s National Treasury on Friday revised upwards its fiscal budget for the next financial year starting on July 1 in order to respond to the health challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Treasury in its National Budget Policy statement released in February projected a 3.01 trillion shilling (about 28 billion U.S. dollars) budget but has adjusted upwards to 33.3 billion dollars to cater for other key areas of the economy.

In the proposed budget estimates which has been submitted to parliament for debate, Ukur Yatani, cabinet secretary of National Treasury and Planning said that the government plans to invest 246 million dollars on the Post COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Program as well as 1.3 billion dollars on the national development blueprint dubbed the Big Four Agenda, including universal healthcare, food security, manufacturing and affordable housing.

“In preparing the estimates we have been very alive to the current challenges of the ongoing pandemic, while ensuring that we continue on a steady path of economic recovery,” Yatani said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Yatani said the government also plans to reform the tax administration legal and policy framework in order to achieve the country’s medium-term budget goals.

He revealed that the proposed amendment will introduce tax exemptions on ventilators, decongestants and supplements in order to boost the health sector by lowering costs and enhancing their affordability.

According to Yatani, further reforms will also support youth employment by proposing tax deductions for employers that engage Technical and Vocational Education and Training graduates as apprentices. Enditem

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