The 2019/20 Budget Highlights

The 2019/20 Budget Highlights

On 13th June 2019, the Treasury CS Henry Rotich presented the 2019/20 Kshs. 3.02 trillion budget to Parliament. This time, the catchword was not “deficit” that characterized Mwai Kibaki’s budget speech, it was “trillion”. The assumption is that these proposals came from the people. It is Kenyan voting in favor of mega infrastructural investment by this generation to cover the next three to five generations instead of a gradual spread. It is the Kenyan voting in favor of the foreign debt and the servicing obligation. The budget proposals were addressed to members of parliament. These Ladies and gentlemen are expected to simplify and justify all that technical talk. At the mind of every constituent are three main challenges; unemployment, poverty and inequality. The balance between Punda’s carrying capacity and those mega infrastructural projects must make sense this time around. The budget gave the construction sector some good news. First, the repeal of section 33 b of the Banking Act, Cap. 488. Secondly, the establishment of the Biashara Kenya Fund. Thirdly, the establishment of the National Housing Fund and the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company. Fourthly, the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order on prioritization and settlement of over Kshs. 10.9 billion being verified pending bills. Hopefully, these measures will lead to generation of employment opportunities for our youth. Meanwhile, youth unemployment stands at over 7 Million people that are increasing at the rate of over one (1) Million new job seekers annually against 100,000 new jobs. Unless extra-ordinary measures are taken, the level of unemployment already at chronic level will escalate to unmanageable heights. On public service, radical measures on contract employment, limitation of service employment beyond the retirement age and a restriction of recruitment to technical, security, teachers and health are but impressive. However, with 80% of Kenyans relying on Agriculture, an allocation of 2.53% is grossly inadequate and an invitation to very adverse ramifications. First, it means the corrupt will have a field day importing maize from Mexico, onions from Tanzania, fruits from South Africa and Egypt. Secondly, it is apt to worsen the unemployment levels and direct our youth towards social maladies. Finally, with only Kshs. 1 billion for irrigation, the prayers are in order. The country is spending over Kshs.89 billion on the ever-burgeoning wage bill in favour of privileged public officers. Instead of generating opportunities for the qualified unemployed, the talk is about increasing remuneration to the employed. The talk is about allowing public officers to do business. Private sector professionals cannot access jobs as public officers, Architects, Surveyors, Engineers, and Environment Experts are practicing. This insider trading/unethical practice amounts to violation of the public officer ethics Act. The matter of public officers and business should have elicited a policy statement. Members of Parliament, have the responsibility to set the tone at the top. Tell us, between the tarmac road and a clean river, what is the people’s priority? Between sharing loot with public officers and generating jobs in the private sector, what is a greater national good? Between funding pollution programs and increasing the health allocation, what makes sense?Let us witness the best debate of all time calculated to improve the suffering of our people. The budget should translate to better standards of living and more happiness at the Constituency level.

Write your History.

Mutua P. Nzoka, OGW
Director General
Green Kenya Investment
Corporation
info@greenkenya.org or
info@environmentalist.co.ke

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