, NAIROBI, Dec 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday said the Government is set to give tax relief to Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) as they play a pivotal role in improving the lives of Kenyans.
The President said tax laws will be amended in the next financial year to boost the operations of SACCOs so as to enable more Kenyans to benefit from their services.
He said the move is part of the Government’s efforts to encourage uptake of credit including mortgages that allow more Kenyans to own homes.
“Tax relief will be given to SACCOs just like other financial institutions which give mortgage loans,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta was speaking when he officially opened the Police Sacco Plaza at Ngara, Nairobi. During the event, the President also launched the Police Sacco’s I-Cash platform and welcomed the use of telephony to improve police welfare.
“I commend the Sacco for going this route and urge other Saccos to similarly look for ways to uplift their members in a meaningful way. Access to cheap credit is one of the goals of the Jubilee administration, and we shall continue to support and partner with all stakeholders in fulfilling this aim,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said he was impressed by the growth the police Sacco has registered over the years. The Sacco – founded over 40 years ago – now has more than 56,000 members, making it one of the largest in the country.
President Kenyatta also commended the role played by the cooperative movement in supporting the growth of the economy, noting that it has risen to a position where it can call on Sh600 billion in deposits and Sh800 billion in assets while boasting of more than 14 million Kenyans as members.
“Few countries in the world have as strong a cooperative sector as the one in Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “This sector is not just about posting big profits, or building huge houses, however, beautiful. But more importantly, it makes a difference to the lives of many ordinary Kenyans.”
Underscoring the importance of trust in any relationship, the President said without trust members would not remit their payments to the Sacco.
“What underpins this trust is the quality and integrity of those we entrust to manage and invest our savings as Sacco members,” the President said.
He challenged the trustees of the Sacco to manage the Sacco’s funds prudently so that its members can continue reaping maximum benefits from their savings.
“I expect, as you manage on their behalf this SACCO, high standards from you,” President Kenyatta said.
On the part of the police officers, the President urged them to treat every Kenyan they serve as a member of the same family whom they are privileged to serve.
“And, of course, we expect discipline and high standards from you. That is why we have worked so hard to improve your conditions of service – so that you can discharge your responsibilities with a minimum of trouble,” the President said.