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Debt riddle

ICPAK says State must broaden revenue base

Expenses are growing at a faster rate than revenue, hence huge budget deficits.

In Summary

• Although, the bulk of Kenya’s external public debt carries concessional terms, recent commercial borrowing entails significant repayment needs this year, and in 2024.

• Expenses are growing at a faster rate than revenue, hence contributing greatly to the huge budget deficits, as revenue collection cannot match with the spending.

ICPAK CEO Edwin Makori and chairman Julius Mwatu in Mombasa yesterday /JOHN CHESOLI
ICPAK CEO Edwin Makori and chairman Julius Mwatu in Mombasa yesterday /JOHN CHESOLI

BY MERCY GAKII

Accountants want the government to widen the tax bracket and seal loopholes to reduce the tax burden on the few paying Kenyans.

In a raft of measures to help streamline revenue collection, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) said the country should also  re-negotiate its debt repayment terms.

 
 

This it said should be though by stretching the tenure, in order to ease the burden on the resources needed for other development projects.

 ICPAK's public policy manager  Elias Wakhisi said,  sealing tax loss loopholes and widening the tax base will help Treasury meet its fiscal targets.

He spoke at a monthly forum organised by Strathmore University for business journalists, last Friday.

 

According to Parliamentary Budget Office, debt redemptions to be incurred in the 2018/19 financial year include the Standard Chartered syndicated loan of Sh 78.7 Billion, the Debut International Sovereign Bond at Sh78.3 Billion, and International Development Assistance of 14.6 Billion.

Although the bulk of Kenya’s external public debt carries concessional terms, recent commercial borrowing entails significant repayment needs this year, and in 2024, he said.

Wakhisi said asked Treasury needs to reduce spending, pointing at the ballooning public expenditure.

He said expenses are growing at a faster rate than revenue, hence contributing greatly to the huge budget deficits, as revenue collection cannot match with the spending.

 
 

ICPAK also said support for key sectors of the economy, especially the major income earners such as services sector, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism among others will help spur economic activity and job creation for Kenyans.

They also urged Treasury to implement recommendations of the Auditor General concerning public debt and to implement budget monitoring reports.