Kenya to unveil its largest budget in history

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Kenya is preparing to peg out its 2.1 trillion Kenyan shillings national budget for the financial year 2015/2016 on Thursday.

The budget which is a 17 per cent increase from that of the fiscal year 2014/2015 is expected to strike a balance between support for rapid economic and inclusive growth. The government is anticipating the economy to grow by 7 per cent this year bolstered by low global oil prices and it infrastructure projects.  

Kenya is emerging as one of East Africa’s developing hubs mainly because of its firm growth largely due to its infrastructure investments. The country has been driving to improve its rail and road infrastructure a vital key to unlock its growth and economic development. During the country’s 2014/2015 budgetary allocation, the government set aside a huge chunk in its national budget for infrastructure.

The country’s 2015/2016 budget which has been prepared during a slow global recovery will focus on economic growth and sustainable development. According to the latest report from the treasury, resources will be allocated to key projects so as to drive inclusive growth. From food security and agriculture, transport and logistics, flood control and water harvesting to enhanced security, the government hopes that this budget tackles issues affecting the nation.

This financial year, the government is keen to focus on security following incidences of terror attacks and threats from Somali insurgent group ,Al-Shabaab. According to reports, the sector will receive increased allocation of resources. Already 112.5 billion Kenya shillings has been put aside for military security and another 102.4 billion Kenya shillings for the internal security.

“Security is necessary for encouraging investment, accelerating economic growth and creating more jobs for our youth,” a notice from the Treasury read.

Furthermore, the government has set aside 20.5 billion Kenyan shillings for general economic and commercial affairs of which 6 billion Kenyan shillings were set aside for reviving the country’s tourism sector which has been perturbed by insecurity. This move is meant to lift the sector whose earnings for 2014 decreased by 7.3 per cent to 87.1 billion Kenyan shillings.

For agriculture, a backbone to the Kenyan economy, the government is said to set aside 79.2 billion Kenyan shillings in order to increase food security. Education on the other hand will receive 335.7 billion Kenyan shillings and the health sector will get 59.2 billion Kenyan shillings.

Also, the country is devoted to ensure the strengthening of its economy allocating infrastructure and energy a huge chunk in its national budget.

According to a guide for the common people on the Treasury website, the government has set aside 132.4 billion Kenyan shillings for roads, 143.8 billion Kenyan shillings for the country’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The SGR was one of the six critical thematic areas of the 2014/15 budget in order to further fortify the platform for accelerated inclusive growth. The energy sector is said to receive 55.2 billion Kenyan shillings.

At 2.1 trillion Kenyan shillings, it is the largest budget in Kenya’s history. Last year the government forked out 1.8 trillion Kenyan shillings to be used in the financial year.