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    Kenya: Gov’t to table record $29b budget

    APA-Nairobi (Kenya)

    Kenya’s finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich will on Thursday table an ambitious 3 trillion shillings ($29 billion) budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

    This record budget is coming at a time when the government is raising funds to finance its Big Four agenda, which includes providing universal healthcare, construction of affordable housing, manufacturing, and food security.

    Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is expected to raise 1.7 trillion shillings ($10 billion), a 9.1 percent rise compared to last year, for the budget in order to finance the Big Four agenda.

    The agenda is known to be close to the heart of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking to secure his legacy in his last term in office.

    According to economic analysts, the cost for basic commodities such as maize flour, ordinary bread and cassava flour, wheat flour, milk and cream without sugar concentrates and other sweeteners, farm pest control products and liquefied petroleum gas will likely go up.

    The fiscal deficit to GDP is expected to narrow to 6.0 percent from a projected 7.2 percent in the 2017-18 financial year, which is in line with the recommendation of the IMF, which in March said the initially targeted deficit of about 8.0-9.0 percent was not sustainable.

    Debt sustainability continues to be a key concern, with the public debt to GDP estimated to have hit 55.6 percent by the end of 2017.

    Kenya will be forced to borrow an additional 562.74 billion shillings ($5.5 billion) to the new budget due to deficit in revenue collection.

    This will add to current state debt of over 4 trillion ($39 billion), which has raised concerns from both locally and international financial experts and institutions such as IMF.

    Finance ministers of the five member states of the East African Community are expected to simultaneously table their budgets on Thursday.


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