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Steps Govt says it will take to safeguard livelihoods and revive businesses amid coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – Kenyans should expect improved livelihoods after the government announced several plans, intended to stimulate the economy to safeguard jobs and business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking while presenting the 2020/2021 budget statement, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the nine-point steps will attempt to deliver an economy that is confronted by perennial challenges, among them high incidences of poverty and unemployment, frequent droughts and low agricultural and industrial productivity among others.

As such, the government will, among other steps, roll out the Sh53.7 billion Economic Stimulus Programme launched earlier this month by President Uhuru Kenyatta, to catalyse economic activity, provide livelihoods to Kenyans and enable businesses to recover from the adverse effects of COVID-19 Pandemic.

The government shall also strengthen management of public debt to minimize cost and risks of the portfolio while accessing external concessional funding to finance development projects.

As of late April, Kenya’s public debt stood at Sh6.28 trillion, according to data by Treasury.

According to the CS, the government has also set out to support the recovery and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises through various interventions including operationalization of the Credit Guarantee Scheme.

“To further expand opportunities for local enterprises and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, we shall gazette and enforce the list of items for local procurement to promote the “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” Initiative,” Yatani said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s signature Big Four projects have also been earmarked as part of Kenya’s recovery measures.

The government shall also enhance allocations to support development of critical infrastructure in the country such as roads, rail, energy and water, among others, so as to reduce the cost of doing business as well as promote competitiveness.

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“The government shall also increase resources to support the youth, women and persons with disability to enable them actively contribute to the economic recovery agenda,” Yatani said.

The recovery plan comes at the back of the Sh53.7 billion Economic Stimulus Programme that the President Uhuru Kenyatta launched on Madaraka day, which is intended to stimulate and sustain economic activities.

Other plans include scaling up resource allocation to improve access to education, strengthen the health care system and enhance cash transfers to support the vulnerable members of our society.

It shall also continue to facilitate the County Governments in strengthening their systems to
enhance service delivery.

“In this respect, I urge County Governments which have not completed paying verified ending bills owed to various suppliers to do so expeditiously.”

Finally, the government plans to implement various structural reforms to enhance the efficiency of public service delivery while at the same time ensuring accountability for better macroeconomic and fiscal stability, sustained credit ratings, improved fiscal discipline, and minimized corruption.

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