Yatani reads Uhuru’s last budget
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani on Thursday, April 7, 2022, read the nation's budget, which is the last for President Uhuru Kenyatta's government, which leaves office in August.
Addressing the National Assembly, Yatani said that Kenyans are more concerned about the high cost of living, unemployment and public debt burden.
"In preparing this year’s budget we extensively consulted Kenyans. The insights, comments & suggestions have informed the priority laid in this budget. Key among the concerns are the high cost of living, unemployment, income inequality & public debt burden," Yatani said.
Yatani said that the economy is estimated to have expanded by 7.6 per cent in 2021 despite COVID-19 restrictions. Following the easing of COVID restrictions, reopening of the economy, targeted stimulus intervention by government, the economy registered a strong recovery of 9.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2021.
"In this budget, the government will continue to implement and expand the economic recovery program in order to accelerate the economy and improve Kenyans' livelihoods," Yatani added.
Yatani outlined a number of achievements of Uhuru's government including the completion of Nairobi to Naivasha standard gauge railway line, construction of 4,795 kilometres of new roads, maintenance of 110,625 kilometres of roads, completion of second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa, and completion of Lamu and Kisumu Ports.
Primary schools have increased from 26,549 to 32,437 and secondary schools from 7,174 to 10,413 between 2012 and 2020.
He also noted that the Jubilee government has increased the number of hospitals in Kenya from 26,000 in 2013 to 82,000 in 2020. Also, Kenya's poverty prevalence rate has declined from 36.1 per cent in 2013 to 33.6 per cent in 2019.
"Implementation of socio-economic policies and structural reforms have seen Kenya graduate from a low income to a middle-income country with an estimated per capita income of Ksh244,000 in 2021, a significant leap of 92.1 per cent from Ksh127,000 in 2013," Yatani said.
Annual diaspora remittance grew by close to 300 per cent from Ksh112 billion in 2013 to Ksh436 billion in 2022. Foreign direct investment rose from Ksh56.7 trillion in 2013 to Ksh75.1 trillion in 2022. Ordinary revenue collection has more than doubled from Ksh0.8 trillion in 2013 to Ksh2 trillion.
The government has allocated Ksh10.2 billion to support the conservation of forests and water towers as well as increase tree cover from the current 7.2 per cent to the 10 per cent target.
To support the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) in reversing urban indignity in Nairobi County, Ksh200 million has been recommended for NMS improvement project and Ksh118.7 million for the construction of footbridges.
Yatani also revealed that the government is undertaking a review of the legal and regulatory framework to address emerging issues in the capital market space.
Yatani has also proposed abandoning debt ceilings in favour of a debt anchor system set at 55 per cent of debt and that Finance Cabinet Secretaries be required to report to Parliament whenever Kenya crosses this threshold.