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We have many projects to fund, Henry Rotich tells House team on limit

Kenya: National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Thursday lobbied a key parliamentary committee to approve an extra Sh1 trillion borrowing limit.

The Cabinet secretary said the country had to take advantage of the low interest rates in Europe and America to grow the economy much faster.

Mr Rotich told MPs of the Finance Planning and Trade Committee last evening that the push for more headroom in the debt ceiling was because of many big projects that have to be completed by 2017.

Apart from the Sh327 billion for the standard-gauge railway, the Cabinet secretary said he had already put up a tender for a crude oil pipeline from the new oil fields in Turkana to Lamu.

The expansion of the berths at the port of Mombasa, the one million acre irrigation project in Galana, the tarmacking of more roads are all part of the package that Rotich wants to use to fund with the loans.

Rotich said there was no cause for alarm about the sustainability of the debt, because the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund had rated Kenya higher and given it a go-ahead to borrow up to 74 per cent of the GDP, the national wealth.

If approved, the current limit will be 53 per cent of the new rebased GDP.