President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined key areas that he will lay focus on in 2020 to improve the lives of Kenyans.
While addressing the nation in Mombasa, the President noted that politics all the time has affected development in the country urging politicians to use politics to shift the economy and address the plight of most vulnerable.
He said he would be focusing on increasing money in the pocket of the farmer, building a robust Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, supporting producers and makers of the entertainment industry.
He will also focus on the milk and potato sector, health insurance, support Kenyans affected by natural disaster and rampant cases of corruption in the country.
“Political power pursued its own sake will not make us the great nation we want to become. We must, therefore, use politics to shift the economy and address the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society. We must use politics to better the livelihoods of Kenyans. If we use politics as a means to a greater end, we will give politics meaning. And this is my intent for this year” said Uhuru Kenyatta.
He lauded removal of interest rate capping law on loans noting the move will facilitate the availability of more credit to businesses, which will, in turn, increase the circulation of money.
He urged Central Bank of Kenya to use the full range of instruments of regulation and policy at its disposal to prevent predatory lending and ensure that banks can offer loans at affordable interest rates.
He said the government is going to support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of businesses and creates 75 per cent of jobs in the country.
He said Biashara Centres will be established across the country to provide a huduma type of one-stop-shop to provide business development services under one roof.
The first Biashara Centre is fully functional at Kariobangi in Nairobi.
“I have an intention in 2020 to increase the money in the pocket of the farmer. This will be achieved by directing our anti-corruption efforts against those managing the agricultural sector and exploiting their positions for illegal gain and trading in the conflict of interest.”
He called for the restructuring of the governance and marketing systems of the Kenya Tea Development Authority to deliver more revenue to farmers.
He directed KTDA to immediately explore the option of paying farmers no less than 50 per cent for their deliveries as monthly payments with the balance being paid as an annual bonus.
As part of the President’s intent to the milk farmers, he directed Treasury to release Sh 500 million to New KCC to purchase excess milk from farmers to convert it into powder milk for future use.
He also directed CS Ukur Yattani to impose 16 per cent VAT on milk products that have originated from outside the East African Community as a way of protecting milk producers from illegal imports.
The president further directed Treasury to release Sh660 million to the Kenya National Trading Corporation to purchase all the excess rice from Kano Plains and Mwea for onward selling to our disciplined forces, prisons services as well as our boarding schools.
The two regions experienced bumper harvests and found themselves with excess rice in their stores.
For the entertainment industry, he directed the ministry of ICT to work with all stakeholders to resolve the legacy issues that have plagued rights holders for decades.
Content Service Providers who work with digital platforms such as SKIZA and Viusasa will be eliminated. And this is because they sit outside the Collection Management Organisations. My practical direction on this is to have all rights holders register on the National Rights Registry.
And to receive royalties, he said content service providers will be required to channel all payments of royalties through a single, centrally managed account at the Kenya Copyright Board. This will enable oversight by the regulator and ensure that the collection and distribution accounts are easily auditable.
On Kenyans’ health insurance, he said he is aware of proposed changes in the fees and structure of insurance benefits of the NHIF.
“Given my administration’s commitment to providing affordable health care, I am directing the Ministry of health to immediately halt the implementation of this proposal to allow for further consultation.”
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