Treasury CS Henry Rotich
Legislators largely praised Treasury’s Sh2.6 trillion budget, but took issue with some concessions they felt would undermine certain groups in their respective regions.
Western leaders said the budget was good, but the proposal to allow importation of maize duty-free for the next three months would hurt farmers.
The MPs said maize farmers in the North Rift region would suffer because of the move.
The Government, they argued, should have put more money in subsidising farm inputs to boost production.
The leaders lauded the budget as people-driven and also weighing on the taxation on gambling.
However, a few criticized the move to exempt some products from taxation.
In the budget, counties are set to receive Sh329 billion, up from Sh323 billion passed by the National Assembly in the Division of Revenue Bill, 2017 and amended by the Senate to Sh352 billion but rejected by the originating House.
“More investment has been put on infrastructure and social protection. The State has taken the moral responsibility to take care of the elderly,” said National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said this is a cautious budget with the CS putting more money on social projects rather than infrastructure.
Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) lauded the Dovernment’s move to increase taxation on gambling and betting companies but warned that the 50 per cent tax may be too high and could drive them out of business.