NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – The government has said it will continue to upscale ongoing projects in various parts of the country to boost economic growth.
While delivering the 2010/2011 budget, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said such investments would put the economy – which is already showing signs of recovery – back on the growth trajectory.
He has expressed confidence that this objective would be supported by the sufficient rains that the country has received over the last few months coupled with the rebound of the global economy.
Although he acknowledged that the country’s goals face inherent risks from the global economy, challenges of climate change, unemployment and food scarcity.
He is optimistic that the budget themed ‘“Towards inclusive and sustainable economic growth” will enable the country achieve is long term development goals.
He said that Kenya was prepared to implement the provision of the East African Community common market protocol which will see the region’s single economic bloc urge others to follow suit.
The Finance Minister directed Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Revenue Authority to undertake an audit of the operations of forex bureaus in the country and submit a comprehensive report to his office by September.
He said this stemmed from the realisation that some bureaus had been engaging in dubious activities that include helping unscrupulous people to evade tax payment.
While delivering the 2010/2011 budget, Mr Kenyatta further said that a Tax Reform Commission would be established to among other things, come up with a simplified tax code that includes VAT legislation that will address most of the challenges faced by the private sector.
He said the government planned to spend Sh34.1 billion to fund various activities in the energy sector and ensure provision of clean and adequate power in the country.
Mr Kenyatta said the funds would go towards the expansion of the national transmission system, generation of geothermal and coal power and also the rural electrification program.
He said the government would partner with the private sector to jointly generate about 500 megawatts of geothermal power as well produce power from solid waste from municipal councils.
All these projects, he said, would help inject an additional 800 Megawatts to the installed capacity by the year 2015.
Mr Kenyatta said the Energy Regulatory Commission would also review electricity tariffs to ensure affordable and predictable power.
He added that the government would spend approximately Sh2 billion to upgrade and expand technical institutes across the country.
The Finance Minister said the refurbishment of these vocational facilities would help admit more young people who can train in various fields and allow them to contribute to economic development.
He said the government would also recruit 2,000 tutors who would be deployed in village polytechnics across the country.
Mr Kenyatta said the government would strive to have ICT trained personnel who can reap from the laid ICT infrastructure in the country.