Govt has created 800,000 new jobs
18 March 2016, 12:32
Nairobi - National Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Henry Rotich Rotich says Kenya has created more than 800,000 jobs, with the promise to generate a million jobs for the youth annually if growth levels are sustained.
He said Kenya’s recent growth performance remains robust with positive outlook. He observed that this will generate the much needed jobs for the youth.
Speaking during Jubilee’s Government’s three-year scored card dubbed: Inter-Ministerial Symposium that started at KICC on Thursday, Mr Rotich said National Treasury has kept a sustained momentum that would spur growth and maintain strong macro-economic fundamentals for growth.
This is amid harsh economic challenges worldwide. “With an economic growth of 5.3 per cent, Kenya has generated 800,000 new jobs. Last year (2015) with a growth of 5.6 per cent, the economy generated a similar number of jobs,” he said. “As the economy continues to grow, we shall be able to generate on an annual basis one million jobs for our youth.”
He said the overall role of the National Treasury is maintaining a sound policy environment that is conducive to growth and development amid the current unfavorable economic challenges, adding that his ministry is important to Kenya as it coordinates economic and financial management prudently.
Giving his ministry’s achievements since Jubilee government came to power in 2013, the CS said Kenyans’ standard of life has improved as the ministry has managed to keep inflation low, stable and within target.
He said fuel prices are at an all-time low due to the prevailing oil glut in the global market thus ensuring that commodity prices are stable and beneficial to Kenyans.
Other achievements he highlighted include the Government’s move to subsidise the cost of education through paying of exam fees, free primary and also free-day secondary school education.
He said the cost of electricity has come down with the generation of more power as well as credit, which has become easily available from the banking sector.
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He observed that more than 70 per cent of Kenyans now have access to financial services while the Government has made the cost of such services affordable.
Mr Rotich said the IMF has approved a US$1.5 billion (Sh150 billion) precautionary loan arrangement to stabilise the shilling incase of shocks.
He further said that the Government has made business environment a little better, the Business environment is now easier and friendly, macroeconomic stability has been maintained with inflation remaining low and within target; low and stable interest rates and a competitive exchange rate stable which has lowered the cost of imports to Kenyans.
The CS said that transacting with the Government has been made easy. “Through e-procurement, suppliers make tenders easily and get paid for services delivered quickly and conveniently through IFMIS,” he said.
He said that with the introduction of i-tax, the long queues of tax payers at Times Tower – that used to start at 6 am in the morning are no more. “Kenyans are able to file tax returns and pay tax conveniently through their mobile phones and M-Pesa,” he observed.
He said that “various services to Kenyans are now conveniently available at the Huduma Centres in Nairobi and most of the 47 Counties. Kenyans do not need to travel long distances to access these services”.
The CS said that the domestic and external resource mobilisation has been achieved as the National Treasury mobilises funding for the budget both from the domestic and external sources where the resources come from tax revenues and borrowing.
He said the ongoing construction of roads across the country, the Standard Gauge Railway and the power generation under geothermal has led to reduced cost of electricity by 30 per cent.
He stated that street lighting in Nairobi and Mombasa cities have been improved – making the cities safer from criminals.
The CS said that to improve revenue collection, the National Treasury and KRA are removing hurdles on revenue collection through initiatives such as i-tax to enable convenient and simplified payment of taxes; ensuring faster clearance of goods through Single Customs Territory and dealing with the cartels under the CFS Management.
Others are expanding tax base particularly on rental income so as to bring land lords under the tax net and undertaking a review of the income tax to modernise it.
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