NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19-Kenya’s public and guaranteed debt hit Sh7.7 trillion in June, fresh data shows.
The data by the Central Bank of Kenya in its weekly bulletin dated July 16, 2021, reveals that the debt comprised of Sh3.6 billion domestic debt and Sh4 billion external debt.
It also shows that the country’s debt stock rose by nearly Sh1 trillion over the last 12 months, to stand at Sh6.7 trillion, during a period that saw sizable loan disbursements to Kenya.
Some of the financers in the period included World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
This comes in the wake of increased criticism over the government’s appetite for borrowing, which in turn hurts taxpayers’ pockets.
However, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani while presenting Kenya’s spending plan for the current financial year assured that the country’s debt remains sustainable though its carrying capacity continues to decline.
“Financing of the fiscal deficit will continue to be strictly guided by the Debt and Borrowing Policy and the annual Medium-Term Debt Strategy,” he said.
Yatani also backed debt ceiling expansion from Sh9 trillion to a higher figure.
The Treasury CS assured MPs that the national government’s borrowings will be used only for the purposes of financing development projects.
Yatani said decisions on the day-to-day management and operations of public debt management shall be undertaken by the Public Debt Management Office to enhance efficiency, strengthen accountability and transparency.
Kenya’s public debt has been projected to rise to Sh8.6 trillion by June 2022 as highlighted in the 2021 Budget Policy Statement and Sh9.4 billion in the subsequent financial year.