N. Rift mulls tax relief, support in Covid recovery

The eight counties have lost more than Sh8.5 billion in revenue collections due to the pandemic

In Summary

• The eight counties under Noreb have lost more than Sh8.5 billion as a result of reduced revenue collections and stalled development programmes.

• Governor Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, who is chairman of Noreb, said counties are keen to support key sectors like business, agriculture and tourism that can spur quick economic recovery.

 

Governor Jackson Mandago and his deputy Daniel Chemno speaking at Cheptiiret in Eldoret.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY: Governor Jackson Mandago and his deputy Daniel Chemno speaking at Cheptiiret in Eldoret.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

North Rift counties are considering tax relief and support programmes to spur economic recovery from the effects of Covid-19.

The eight counties in the North Rift Economic Bloc have lost more than Sh8.5 bas a result of far lower revenue collections and stalled development programmes during the pandemic.

Governor Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, who is the chairman of Noreb, on Saturday said counties are keen to support key sectors such as business, agriculture and tourism that can spur quick recovery.

“We are still battling the heavy effects of Covid-19 on our lives and economies. But we have to plan for the future by working with key sectors to help them to recover as a region," Mandago said.

The Uasin Gishu county assembly has passed the Finance Bill 2021-22. It provides for cushioning traders struggling in the current economic environment.

It was introduced by MCA Stephen Chemalan, who is chairman of the finance committee.

“We have reviewed some charges and tariffs in key sectors so we can offer some relief to business and tourism sectors, among others, to help them recover, Chemalal said.

Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counties have also planned support programmes, mainly for farmers. They are also seeking donors.

The Swedish government will finance 23 counties to promote  innovations and improvement of agriculture technology to increase production.

Trans Nzoia is one of the beneficiaries and executive for agriculture Mary Nzomo said innovations will cover maize, dairy and poultry sectors.

“Our farmers will be involved to help them adopt new technology for increased production," Nzomo said.

Governors also plan to hasten completion of projects slowed by the pandemic.

Mandago plans to spend Sh11 billion during his final year in office, mostly to complete his major flagship projects.

The county assembly has already passed the Annual Development Plan for 2021-22.

MCA Jonathan Ngetich, chairman of the budget committee, said the ADP contains strategic priorities for the medium term and details for each programme and payments to be made by the county government.

The MCAs urged Mandago’s administration to ensure full utilisation of the funds allocated annually.

“We will complete all the projects we have initiated before next year,” Mandago said.

(Edited by V. Graham)