NATIONAL CAKE

Yatani's budget estimates elicit mixed reactions

Pandemic is a global problem that has affected all countries in almost a similar way.

In Summary

• Some MPs said Yatani's budget, which is a nine per cent increase from Sh3.36 trillion in the current year, will not spur the recovery of the economy from the Covid-19 shocks.

• Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, who was once a Finance minister, said he would have done nothing differently.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Image: FILE

 

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani's Sh3.66 trillion 2021-2022 budget drew mixed reactions from legislators and players in the financial sector.

Some MPs said Yatani's budget, which is a nine per cent increase from Sh3.36 trillion in the current year, will not spur recovery of the economy from the Covid-19 shocks.

Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, who was once a Finance minister, said he would have done nothing differently.

“He has done exactly what I could have done myself. If we can contain the Covid-19 pandemic, I can assure you that the economy will recover fast and grow at a phenomenal rate,” he said.

Kimunya said the pandemic is a global problem that has affected all countries in almost a similar way.

“For a moment, we lost export markers. Nonetheless, the economy is now growing and we will be at six per cent growth very soon,” he said.

Kimunya was confident that the measures put by Yatani to spur the economy will yield results.

“Currently, a lot of people have no money, but that will go away soon,” he said.

Treasury handed legislators Sh46.61 billion, a 25 per cent increase compared to the Sh37.3 billion in the current year.

The allocation made Parliament among the biggest winners in Yatani's second budget.

The Judiciary was given Sh17.92 billion, a marginal rise from the current Sh17.7 billion.

Hours after Yatani presented the highlights, some lawmakers told the Star more needed to be done to restructure a wounded economy.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said the budget portends more taxation for Kenyans.

"This is not a recovery budget. It is leaving a lot of questions than answers. We are going to see a lot of taxes being introduced, which is not good for the current economy," Osotsi said.

Matungu MP Peter Nabulindo said he was disappointed that Yatani did not announce measures to revive the sugar sector.

“I come from a sugar cane growing area and nothing has been said about reviving the livelihoods of cane farmers. I have not seen anything that addresses the plight of cane farmers,” he said.

Nabulindo further said it was wrong to increase taxes on motorbikes.

“Where I come from, a very huge percentage of youths depend on motorbikes for a living. If they become expensive, then it means problems for them,” he added.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said the economic challenges call for prudent management of resources.

"It is a delicate balancing [act] given the state of our economy and the need to meet the expectations of the people in the light of constrained revenues levels,” he said.

Budget Appropriations Committee chairman Kanini Kega said Yatani has not increased any taxes that affect mwananchi

“We will be able to collect around Sh2.2 trillion then it gives a deficit of about Sh900 billion and that is what he has proposed that we will be able to borrow through external and local sources,” he said.

 

(edited by o. owino)