How Kenya 2019/20 budget compares to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda

National Treasury CS Henry Rotich presenting Budget before Parliament (PHOTO: File)
NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya’s budget is the highest in East Africa region exceeding that of Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The three nations presented their 2019/20 national budgets before respective parliaments at the same time on Thursday.

Kenya’s 2019/20 budget stands at Sh3.02 trillion followed by Tanzania (Sh1.4 trillion), Uganda (Sh1.08 trillion) and Rwanda at Sh316 billion. Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda 2019/20 national budgets total to Sh2.8 trillion that is around Sh200 billion less Kenya’s budget.

Rwanda

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Rwanda said its overall spending will rise 11 per cent in 2019/20 (July-June) fiscal year to Sh316 billion, while 2019 economic growth will be slower than a year earlier, its finance minister said on Thursday.

The finance minister Uzziel Ndagijimana proposed that 85.8 per cent of the budget would come from internal sources, and the rest from external grants. The economy is projected to grow 7.8 per cent in 2019 from 8.6 per cent in 2018, he said.

Tanzania

According to Tanzania's finance minister, the country's overall spending during the 2019/20 period will rise 2 per cent to Ksh1.4 trillion. Philip Mpango, its finance minister told parliament on Thursday that the John Pombe Magufuli led government also plans to borrow Tsh2.32 trillion from external non-concessional sources.

Tanzania is East Africa’s third-largest economy and is investing heavily in public infrastructure projects as it seeks to profit from its long coastline and upgrade its rickety railways and roads to serve the growing economies in east and central Africa.

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Uganda

Uganda finance minister Matia Kasaija said the government spending is set to rise 23 per cent in 2019/20  to Sh1.08 trillion

Uganda plans to raise its spending by 23 per cent in 2019/20 (July-June) to Ush40.1 trillion, and its fiscal deficit will rise, its finance minister said on Thursday in his budget speech.

Matia Kasaija said in parliament the 2019/2020 fiscal deficit would be 8.7 per cent of GDP, up from 5.8 per cent in this fiscal year, which ends this month.

He said the government would borrow 2.8 trillion shillings from domestic markets in 2019/20 up from 2.2 trillion shillings in 2018/19. External financing will be 10.11 trillion shillings, but he did not say how much of this will be borrowed.

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Kenya’s financial year starts on July 1 and according to Cabinet Secretary Treasury Henry Rotich, the economy is expected to grow at 6.3 per cent the same level as 2018.

Rotich raised the excise duty on beer, spirits and cigarette packets by 15 per cent, translating to an additional of between Sh18 and Sh24 for the taxman.

“To address this decline and to boost excise revenues, I propose to increase the rates of excise duty on cigarettes, wines and spirit by 15 per cent,” he said in an increment that will be an addition to the annual price review that adjusts for inflation.

Due to coinage and knock-on effects of the increased excise duty, however, the impact on the eventual retail prices would be more pronounced.

Rotich did not spare the wealthier in his taxation proposals, in a move that was widely anticipated, by raising the tax on profits realised from sale of assets by two-and-half time to 12.5 per cent.

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A trader who buys shares for Sh1 million and sells them for Sh1.1 million, for instance, will pay Sh12,500 in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and keep Sh87,500 as profit.

Previously, such a trader would pocket Sh95,000 in profits while paying only Sh5,000 in CGT.

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