NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – A cross section of Kenyans have welcomed the government’s move to zero rate maize flour and bread prices, saying it will bring down the cost of living.
A few who spoke to Capital FM News described it as a timely measure which will bring relief for Kenyans heavily burdened by taxes.
Others think it may be politically motivated as a result of the August elections.
“That is very good especially to the common Kenyan because these food stuffs are what a majority of Kenyans are eating,” stated Sabina Njoroge, a student at the Mt Kenya University.
“Many people have termed it as political. Well, I will not deny that but I think it is quite fair for us as Kenyans,” Brian Omondi stated.
“I am grateful for that budget because Rotich took the interests if Kenyans to heart and it has been greatly beneficial.”
Many of them were however optimistic that it will improve the livelihood of Kenyans and commended Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for the initiative.
“All I want is for the price of unga to go down to Sh80. Bread should go back to Sh35 and in this way we will also be fair to the government,” Jennifer Kioko, a trader said.
“Does that reflect with the farmers but unga coming down, bread coming down is beneficial for Wanjiku and that is kudos to Parliament.”
During his budget statement, Rotich also introduced tax free importation of maize for the next four months to help deal with the ravages of drought.
According to BDO East Africa, the huge investment made in education is welcome move as it will benefit students both in Primary and Secondary schools.
Tax Director Stephen Okoth singled out the allocation of 4 billion shillings for examination fees waiver saying this will enable all students to sit for their examinations.
“Overall, I was impressed by the budget which was read yesterday. It was quite impressive. In certain sectors, the investment that the government is making in education is significant, waiving exam fees in KCSE and KCPE, supporting schools,” he said.
Ernest and Young Associate Director Grace Mulinge however expressed concern over the accumulation of budget deficits and how the government t will finance them.
“What I found interesting about the budget is that the expenditure of the government is pretty high is Sh2.3 Trillion. What the Kenya Revenue Authority is expected to collect is about Sh1.5 Trillion together with aid which would make it Sh1.7 Trillion,” she said.
Other interventions announced yesterday include the tax free importation of maize for the next four months to help deal with the ravages of drought and more long term, the exemption of maize and wheat flour from Value Added Tax.