State goes after betting and gaming services, wants excise duty increased

Treasury CS Prof Njuguna Ndungu and Team outside The National Treasury building. [Samson Wire,Standard]

In a bid to discourage betting and gaming activities, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u has proposed to increase the rate of excise duty from 7.5 percent to 12.5 percent.

In his inaugural budget speech on Thursday, June 15, the CS urged the National Assembly to enact the proposal that will include price competitions and lottery, adding that the remittance of excise duty should be made within 24 hours after the closure of transaction.

"In this era of technology, there is no justifiable reason for waiting for 20 days to report transactions to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). I propose the National Assembly amend the act to provide for remittance of the excise duty on betting and gaming within 24 hours after closure of transactions," Ndung'u said.

At the same time, the CS stated that betting, and gaming are addictive especially to the youth and school-going children hence have a negative socio-economic consequence in the society hence needs to be tamed.

Nearly a year ago, the government warned that betting, lotteries, and gaming firms who will not have renewed their licences for the previous Financial Year risked being shut down.

What Security docket got

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is the biggest beneficiary of the total Sh338.2 billion set aside in this year's budgeta allocation for the security docket.

In his budget speech on Thursday, June 15, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u proposed that KDF be allocated Sh144.9 billion to support its operations as they secure the country's borders.

If approved, the National Police Service (NPS) will get Sh98.6 billion, while the National Intelligence Service (NIS) will get a sum total of Sh44.3b.

According to the proposed budget allocation, the Kenya Prisons Service will get the least share of Sh31.3 billion in the security docket.

"I also propose a budget allocation of Sh8.8 billion for leasing of police motor vehicles and at the same time Sh500 million to be set aside for the actualization of the police modernization program," Njuguna said.

At the same time, the CS proposed a Sh2.9 billion allocation for group personal insurance for police and prisons services and an additional Sh5.8 billion for medical insurance for police and prison services.