2021-2022 BUDGET

If we don't borrow, we'll tax Kenyans more - CS Yatani

Yatani spoke ahead of budget reading in National Assembly.

In Summary

• Yatani added that they are also exploring Public Private Partnerships for development  projects.

• In the Budget Finance Bill that was presented to Parliament for consideration, a Sh3.63 trillion budget was proposed.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani at Parliament Buildings on June 11, 2020
BUDGET: Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani at Parliament Buildings on June 11, 2020
Image: FREDERICK OMONDI

Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani has defended the government's borrowing, saying that if it doesn't do so, it will have to tax Kenyans more.

Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV on Wednesday, the CS insisted that the country is still within the borrowing limit set by parliament and it will soon be going to parliament for an extension.

"Taxing our people at this stage is only going to affect businesses but seriously affect the common man, based on all this we prefer to borrow for the time being and deal with it at a later date," Yatani said.

He added, "Our debt ceiling is within the ceiling we set for ourselves, the scope is narrowing and at some stage in course of the next financial year, we will be going back to the National Assembly and Senate for adjustment."

The CS insisted the government has been borrowing sustainably from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to sustain the economy and continue supporting its liquidity to create jobs and opportunities for the people.

Asked if the Sh3.63 trillion budget cushions local mwananchi, Yatani said that the 2021-2022 budget is a recovery budget and went on to highlight some of the things government is doing to help Kenyans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are going to continue with sustained expenditure by implementing agenda four, enhance the economic stimulus package that we initiated in this financial year and there are vast of them including the Kazi mtaani, creating jobs and opportunities by expanding jobs in the medical sector, having more teachers, to stimulate consumption," he said.

Yatani added that they are also exploring Public Private Partnerships for development  projects and creation of jobs, as well as indirect tax relief for certain products, especially in the health sector.

The Treasury CS spoke ahead of the reading of the 2021-2022 budget in the National Assembly on Thursday. 

In the Budget Finance Bill that was presented to Parliament for consideration, a Sh3.63 trillion budget was proposed, which the CS said will strike a balance between stimulating economic recovery and responding to the health challenges caused by the virus.