NAIROBI, KENYA, JAN 22 — The public, private sector and diverse institution in the country have until Wednesday (January 24) to submit proposals for consideration in the 2018-19 financial year budgetary allocation.
The National Treasury is seeking comments on the 2018 Draft Budget Policy Statement for the financial year’s 2018/19, as the Jubilee government plans to spend an estimated Ksh2.45 trillion in the next financial year.
National Treasury has called for views from the Commission on Revenue Allocation, County governments, controller of budget, the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the public and any other interested persons or groups.
“We have now finalized the 2018 Draft Budget Policy Statement which is available at the National Treasury website www.treasury.go.ke. The purpose of this press release is to invite general and specific comments on the 2018 Draft Budget Policy Statement to enable us finalise the document and seek Cabinet approval,” Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thuge said in a statement.
Section 25 of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2012 requires the National Treasury to seek and take into account the views of stakeholders and the public, in preparing the Budget Policy Statement, before submission to Cabinet for approval and subsequently submission to Parliament.
The 2018/19 budget is coiled towards President Uhuru Kenyatta’s “Big Four” plan, which he intends to focus on in his next five years in office.
During his December’s Jamhuri Day celebrations speech, the president said his government will focus on Food Security, Affordable Housing, Affordable Healthcare and Manufacturing which form his big four plan.
The government is counting on the private sector contribution to achieve the plan, as President Uhuru strategizes to leave behind a legacy when he exits office at the end of his tenure.
“As we embark on “The Big Four” Plan, we are clearly conscious of our limited fiscal space and will therefore leverage on the private sector in partnership with the government. In this respect, we shall be creating a High Speed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit to attract and engage the private sector on implementation of most of the projects,” Thuge said.
The government is keen to support value addition and raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product to 15 per cent by 2022, envisioned to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty.
The Jubilee administration is also determined to provide at least five hundred thousand (500,000) affordable new houses to Kenyans by 2022, aimed at improving the living conditions for Kenyans.
In the financial year 2018/19, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has projected overall expenditure and net lending to be Ksh2.488 trillion (25.4 per cent of GDP), from the estimated Ksh2.323 trillion (26.8 percent of GDP) in the financial year 2017/18.
These expenditures comprises among others, recurrent of Ksh1.5 trillion (15.4 percent of GDP).
To support part of Uhuru’s big four, Rotich has allocated Ksh38.8 billion to Agriculture, Rural and Urban development in the next financial year commencing July 1, up from Ksh38.4 billion.
The health sector will have a budget of Ksh64.3 billion up from the current Ksh61.7 billion.
Energy, Infrastructure and ICT’s finances have been marginally slashed to Ksh409.7 billion from the current estimated spend of Ksh415.7 billion, under the current 2017/18 Ksh2.62 trillion budget.
In the financial year 2018/19 revenue collection (including Appropriation-in-Aid) is projected at Ksh 1.849 trillion (18.9 percent of GDP), from the Ksh1.643 trillion (19.0 percent of GDP) in the 2017/18 financial year.
This revenue performance will be underpinned by on-going reforms in tax policy and revenue administration, Treasury has said.
Kenya Revenue Authority is expected to collect Ksh1.684 trillion up from Ksh1.486 trillion.
According to Treasury, the fiscal deficit in the FY 2018/19 (excluding grants), amount to Ksh639 billion, which is equivalent to 6.5 per cent of the GDP.
“The 2018 Budget Policy Statement sets out the Jubilee Administration priority programs and reforms to be implemented over the next five years (2018 – 2022). The programs and policies herein reflect the concerns of Kenyans and are anchored under the Medium Term Plan III of the Kenya Vision 2030,” Thuge said.
The government is expecting the country’s economy to recover this year after a slow down in 2017, which was occasioned by adverse weather conditions, a prolonged electioneering period as well as subdued credit growth to the private sector.
Economic growth for 2017 is estimated at 4.8 percent from 5.8 percent in 2016.