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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani departs the National Treasury on June 11, 2020 for the 2020/21 budget statement presentation/CFM/ Timothy Olobulu

Kenya

MPs Caucus Proposes Reforms To Check Rising National Debt

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 20 – The Parliamentary Caucus on Economy and Business has proposed a raft of radical reforms to inject fiscal discipline into the national budgeting process and to ensure the national debt remains at sustainable levels.

Speaking during the a two-day stakeholders’ engagement forum in Mombasa County, the Parliamentary Caucus which is chaired by Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo emphasised on the need to enhance the independence of the National Debt Office and the strengthening of budget implementation monitoring and evaluation framework.

In his opening remarks, Njomo further noted the need to consolidate revenue mobilization to foster a multi-sectoral approach towards economic growth and development.

“There is need to keep an eye on Kenya’s fiscal policy and debt sustainability. We do not have a problem with the uptake of debt to spur the economy but we must put in place punitive measures which will instill fiscal discipline and create consequences for those who deviate from fiscal regime,” he said.

The forum comes as House Departmental Committees begin the consideration of the budget estimates following the tabling of the Budget Policy Statement and the 2021 Medium Term Debt Strategy paper last week.

The seven-member parliamentary caucus has also called upon the National Treasury to ensure that policies geared towards post-COVID-19 recovery are cascaded all the way to the lowest level possible in the forthcoming Supplementary and 2021/22 budget.

The MPs are further advocating for the inclusion of traders and small-scale operators into the formal economy and fixing credit operations which they feel will progressively reduce government borrowing from commercial banks.

“This can be enhanced by bringing traders and small-scale operators into the formal economy and fixing credit operations by progressively reducing government borrowing from commercial banks,” they noted.

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Among other measures adopted by the forum include the review of double taxation arising from multiple cess charges in counties and the need to formulate policies and laws limiting participation by foreigners (outside EAC) in small-scale trading.

Besides the Parliamentary caucus, the forum has drawn participation from the Parliament Budget Office, the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and analysis (KIPPRA), Commission on Revenue Allocation, Okoa Uchumi Coalition, Westminster Consulting, the Kenya Wine Agencies among others.

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