The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yattani, has revealed a plan by the government to reduce Kenya's national debt in the 2022-2023 Financial Year.
Speaking on Wednesday, October 13, during the ongoing Public Hearings of the 2022/23 and Medium-Term Budget proposals at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Yattani promised that the government would live within its means.
He disclosed that his Ministry would continue with existing policies meant to rationalise government expenditure.CS Ukur Yattani Addresses the attendees of the Public Hearings of the 2022/23 and Medium-Term Budget proposals at the KICC on October 13, 2021
"We will continue to rationalise so that we live within rational means where the revenue we generate will just be enough to meet our national expenditure," the CS reiterated.
Yattani further added that there were plans to curb borrowing, explaining that the current debt is wanting. According to the CS, the move would help the government cut reliance on debt to sustain its operations.
"We cannot continue to borrow or pretend that we have the ability to manage. We have to cut our coat according to our size," he stated.
According to data from the Central Bank of Kenya, the current national debt stands at Ksh7.7 trillion (as of June 2021). This constitutes Ksh3.7 trillion domestic debt and Ksh4 trillion external debt.
In a bid to increase revenue collection to service its loans, the government introduced new taxes and sealed loopholes where revenue was lost.
Some of the taxes introduced include the 20 per cent exercise duty on all products and the 16 per cent value-added tax imposed on petroleum products. In addition, the tax relief introduced during the covid-19 pandemic was also scrapped off.
This has increased the cost of living in the country as Kenyans continued to suffer the ripple effects of high taxes as well as tough economic times.
However, Yattani assured Kenyans of better economic times, stating that leading indicators for the economy so far point to robust economic recovery following the reopening of services sectors and a stronger global demand. He also called upon Kenyans to give their inputs and raise issues during the discussions.
The hearings are part of public participation pursuant to Article 201 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and Section 35 (2) of the Public Management Act, 2012.From Left: Treasury CS Ukur Yattani, Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Treasury PS Saitoti Torome During the 2022/23 Budget Public Hearings and Medium-Term Budget proposals at the (KICC) on October 13.National Treasury
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