Kenyan investors under the private sector alliance on Friday welcomed the national budget for the financial year 2020/21, saying it will help with recovery following loss of business occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, head of the business alliance said.
Nicholas Nesbitt, chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) said the budget took bold measures to ensure food security, provide relief to businesses and expand employment.
“We welcome new investment in the expansion of household-level irrigation and cheaper inputs for farmers. This will ensure food security,” said Nesbitt in a webinar in Nairobi.
Nesbitt said new relief on flower and horticulture farmers whose export-dependent business had been hard hit has brought excitement to the sector.
“We have now seen an increase in our flower and horticulture uptake in Europe. We have been able to survive what for us looked like a disaster,” he said.
Nesbitt said relief announced for the tourism sector especially to the hotel industry, conservancies and waivers of parking fees for planes will also come in handy to help in the recovery of one of a sector that is among Kenya’s top foreign exchange earners.
The private sector alliance said recruitment of an additional 10,000 teachers and interns to help schools implement digital learning will help alleviate unemployment but urged the government to invest more in digitizing all sectors of the economy.
“The technology to digitize the whole economy exists but we may not be making the right decisions. We need to allocate more money to the ministry of information communication technology. We need to ensure we make it very easy for citizens to interact with the government through technology,” he said.
The promised value-added tax returns to business, he said, will help improve cash flow, as will the policy to designate what products must be bought locally by government agencies.
“In the banking sector, the measures put in place by the government to cushion banks during the COVID-19 pandemic have been commendable, putting banks in a good place to respond to the economic impact,” noted the alliance in its post-budget review. Enditem