President Uhuru Kenyatta has heeded to Kenyan’s outcry on high levies slapped on petroleum products and reduced VAT by 50 per cent.
The president, speaking during would be signing of the Finance Bill 2018/19 said he had heard and understood the country’s concerns.
“Which is why I have proposed, as part of my memorandum, to cut VAT on petroleum products by 50% — from 16% to 8%.” He said.
“Should Parliament accept this proposal, the price of super petrol will drop from KSh 127 to about KSh 118, and the price of diesel will drop from KSh 115 to about KSh 107. Just as business owners took the new VAT rate as an opportunity to increase the cost of goods and services, I expect them not to take advantage of weary citizens, and to lower their prices commensurately and without delay.” He added.
This is just part of the amendments on the bill that he has proposed to the parliament before the bill is signed into law.
Other measures that the president has proposed to finance the country’s huge budget include:
Cuts on government spending: The president noted that in a bid to plug the financing gap there should be a wide-ranging cuts in spending as well as austerity measures across all arms of government.
“The cuts target less essential spending, such as hospitality, foreign and domestic travel, training and seminars, and similar categories.” He said adding that these budget cuts ask of us in government that we tighten our belts. It also ensures that the sacrifices made by tax-compliant Kenyans are matched by discipline from all of us in the public service.
Fighting Corruption: “I want to assure Kenyans that their taxes will be used well. That is why, in my memorandum, I propose to increase the resources available to the institutions entrusted to fight corruption.” The president said.
On this, the head of state has increased funding to the judiciary to speed up the completion of cases concerning corruption and economic crime.
Increased allocation to the investigative agencies: President Kenyatta has proposed an increased allocation to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, and to the investigative agencies.
Restoration of faith in public institution: The president has also called upon the bodies dealing with investigation and prosecution to work together to help us restore our faith in public institutions.
The finance bill has now been returned it to Parliament with a number of modifications.