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Kenya expecting economic stimulus package

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – The government will in the next few weeks receive a stimulus package from development partners and other agencies to cushion the economy from the on going financial crisis, a top government official has revealed.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga disclosed on Monday that they are negotiating for funding with the partners, which would then be injected into various sectors of the economy.

“We are trying to inject more capital particularly in the infrastructure area where we think that the most impact will be felt. We are also talking to our partners to help us in re-prioritising our budget,” he added.

Mr Odinga said finer details of the package would be released soon.

“At the moment, I’m not ready to announce the kind of package we talking about but it will be announced in the next one or two weeks,” the PM revealed.

While acknowledging that Kenya has been hit by the global recession, he said the government would not employ protectionism measures as a way of curtailing its impact on the country.

“Protectionism is an option, but we are not going to resort to that. It is not the time to recede into the cocoon of protectionism, but we also need to ensure a level playing field,” he emphasised.

Analysts have cautioned against implementing such measures arguing that this would hinder trade and only prolong the effects of the credit crunch.

Speaking during a press briefing to announce the resolutions of the Prime Minister’s Round Table meeting with the private sector, Mr Odinga vowed to act tough on counterfeits saying the country will not be used as a dumping ground for substandard and imported goods.

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He put inspection officers on notice and warned them that he’d deal firmly with those who were permitting the entry of counterfeit products and in effect contributing to the ‘killing’ of local industries.

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“Kenya has become a big supermarket for imported products. We will not allow this to happen as we watch many Kenyans lose jobs because of unfair competition. We will not take this lying down,” he warned.

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