NAIROBI, July 14 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has commended the Kenya Revenue Authority for raising the country’s revenue base, thus enabling Kenya to fund most of her development programmes with domestic resources.
Musyoka attributed the authority’s achievement to the government’s adoption of sound economic policies and reforms that saw the economic growth rate shoot from 0.5 percent in 2003 to 7 percent in 2007.
The Vice President pointed out that the move, coupled with other interventions by the government and other stakeholders had also seen the poverty incidences drop from 57 percent in 2000 to 46 percent six years later.
He however pointed out that a lot still needed to be done to enable the country sustain her achievements and attain her goal of being a “middle income economy” by 2030, particularly by creating additional employment opportunities for the youth.
He said the government was committed to addressing poverty and inequality among Kenyans by channelling a bigger part of her budgetary allocations to the social sector like education and health.
“The Government has also invested heavily in infrastructure and agriculture so as to improve the incomes of both rural and urban dwellers” the Vice President noted.
The Vice President was speaking at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi where he was the chief guest during the presentation of the ISO 9001:2000 Certification to the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The certification is the highest international benchmark awarded to organizations for attaining excellence in international practices in service delivery.
The Vice President commended the board of directors, management and staff of KRA, saying that the certification manifested their commitment to excellence in revenue collection and service delivery and would motivate them to collect more revenue.
He paid tribute to the Treasury, tax payers, and other stakeholders who made it possible for the certification to become a reality.
Saying that the attainment of the country’s development agenda relied on partnership between the public and private sector Mr. Musyoka assured that the government will continue to strive to bring down the cost of doing business in the country.
“Reducing the cost of doing business and enhancing trade facilitation, including removal of unnecessary administrative and regulatory barriers, will remain a priority in the on-going reforms” he pointed out.
Assistant Minister for Finance, Dr Oburu Odinga, commended KRA for pursuing tax reforms that has seen the country collect additional revenue and reduced over dependency on donor funding.
The Assistant Minister, however, called for the deepening of the reforms that include efficiency in tax collection and elimination of procedures that are not investor-friendly.
Dr. Oburu said the government would continue to ensure prudent management of public finances and guarantee on effective and efficient service delivery to the people of Kenya.
The KRA Commissioner General Michael Waweru said the authority will continue to ensure that tax evaders are made to meet their obligations without exceptions.