Kenyans hard hit by the global economic crunch are eagerly waiting for the budget to be unveiled mid next month by new Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
Most Kenyans are looking forward to Mr Kenyatta’s debut budget speech to confirm whether the government is committed towards addressing their woes or leave them to be swallowed by the global economic downturn.
Listening to Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya when he released the economic survey report on Thursday, it was clear that Mr Kenyatta has a lot of patching up to do to please the myriad of concerns the Kenyan taxpayer would like addressed.
The minister must ensure the budget takes into account the hard economic times the country is to face in the next financial year to ensure Kenyans are not exposed to both predictable and unpredictable market forces.
The Minister should ensure that financial estimates will lead to an economic growth of more than the two to three percent forecast by Mr Oparanya, if Kenya is to hit the road towards achieving Vision 2030.
He should slap heavy penalties against briefcase traders who are pushing out industrialists from the Kenyan market by flooding counterfeits.
This will ensure local jobs are protected and that Kenya does not become a large supermarket for Chinese, Indian and Egyptian products as stated by Industrialist Chris Kirubi in his blog on Thursday.
The Finance Minister should also reverse the pension law introduced by his predecessor David Mwiraria that bars retirees from accessing their benefits before attaining the mandatory retirement age, currently pegged at 60 years.
He should ensure the draconian law is immediately amended so that Kenyan retirees can get their dues when they are still alive.
I say so because I know that in Kenya 60 is the dying age and not old age as the proponents of the ‘Mwiraria law’ may want us to believe.
As the Planning Minister said, the agricultural sector was one of the biggest droppers in economic performance last year. Mr Kenyatta must therefore cobble up some suitable stimulus package to encourage farmers.
The youth should also be provided with better incentives to start up small businesses that would spurn the growth of the micro economic sector.
Hopefully, when Mr Kenyatta takes the stand in mid-June, he will leave many Kenyans smiling.