By JACKSON OKOTH
And although the word “borrowing” was hard to come by in his statement, it was written all over the Budget, as Githae himself admitted Treasury had virtually zero new tax options to boost revenue.
“We have taxed Kenyans almost to the limit. The only way we can increase revenue is by taxing those who have not been paying,” Githae told journalists immediately after reading the 2012-2013 Budget.
This was in reference to new measures that will see Kenya Revenue Authority go after landlords who do not remit income on rent.
It fell in line with the conservative economics that marks the final year of an incumbent President not keen on rocking the boat.
Will the projected growth take place? It was a balancing act for Githae as he presented the last Budget under the watch of Othaya MP, President Kibaki.
While ensuring that limited funds are available to finance the 2013 General Election, and complete implementation of crucial sections of the new Constitution, Githae steered clear of any surprises or bold measures, perhaps not to rock the Kibaki legacy boat and the succession politics chessboard.
Presentation of Githae’s financial statement for the fiscal year 2012/2013, whose theme was deepening our economic and social prosperity within a system of devolved government, almost hit a snag: Gwasi MP John Mbadi rose on a point of order demanding to know the contents of Githae’s ceremonial briefcase.
“This House did adopt a report on 2012/2013 Budget estimates on April 26, and we do not therefore see the need for this pomp and colour,” said Mbadi. He was, however, overruled by the House Speaker Kenneth Marende, cutting short the drama and paving way for Minister Githae to make the traditional Budget speech.
While attention has shifted to financing the polls and pushing through constitutional reforms, measures to boost key sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and ICT appear to have received lukewarm attention.
Recruitment of 10,000 teachers